Nobody can say the Seattle Mariners aren't consistent.
Already this season, they have had a six-game losing streak and an eight-game winning streak. As they invade Memorial Stadium tonight for the start of a three-game series, the Mariners are working on a five-game losing streak.
That, for Orioles fans, is the good news. The bad news is that Seattle also brings in one of the best young pitching staffs in baseball.
"They've got some of the best young pitchers in the game," said Orioles hitting coach Tom McCraw. "Not just in the American League. In baseball."
In tonight's 7:35 affair (Ch. 2), the Mariners send rookie Rich DeLucia (1-2, 7.00 ERA) against Dave Johnson (1-2, 8.79). Tomorrow, it'll be Erik Hanson (1-1, 2.97) against Jeff Ballard (2-1, 4.50), and on Wednesday Seattle's Randy Johnson (2-2, 4.94) will face Jose Mesa (1-3, 3.33).
DeLucia, a 26-year-old righthander, was on the Mariners' fast track a year ago when he pitched on all four levels in the organization. He went 1-2 in five games with Seattle after stints with San Bernardino, Williamsport and Calgary.
Hanson was 18-9 a year ago, and ranked third in the league in strikeouts. Johnson went 14-11 and ranked sixth in the AL in strikeouts.
Offensively, the Mariners feature the father-son combination of Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr. And in Edgar Martinez, they have one of the league's hottest hitters. Martinez, who has hit in 13 straight games, leads the major leagues with a .417 average.
For the Orioles, this is the start of an 18-game stretch against AL West opponents. They don't play in the AL East again until traveling to Detroit on May 20.
* WHEN: Tonight, 7:35 (Channels 2, 20; WBAL-AM 1090, WTOP-AM 1500).
* WHERE: Memorial Stadium.
* SEASON SERIES: First meeting.
* STANDINGS: The Orioles (6-10) are tied for last in the East with the Yankees, four games behind Toronto. The Mariners (8-11) are last in the West, 4 1/2 games behind Chicago.
* PITCHERS: Orioles' Dave Johnson (1-2, 8.79) vs. Mariners' Rich DeLucia (1-2, 7.00).
* EXTRA BASES: Johnson had a rough time against the Mariners last year, going 0-2 with a 8.56 ERA . . . Seattle easily won the dTC season series with the Orioles last season, 9-3 . . . The Mariners lost six straight to open the season, won eight straight and now have lost five in a row . . . OF Joe Orsulak led the Orioles with a .296 average against Seattle last year . . . The Orioles are without first baseman Glenn Davis (neck injury), and Seattle closer Mike Schooler (sore elbow) has been sidelined since the start of the season. . . Tonight is Bargain Night with all upper and lower reserved going for $3.75.