The Seattle Mariners have Dave Johnson's number. And they've got a pretty good line on Memorial Stadium, too, if you must know the truth.
Count the Mariners among those who'll miss the old ballpark on 33rd Street next season. If the Orioles don't watch out, Baltimore is going to become a tropical resort for these guys from the great Northwest.
"We always hit good here," Harold Reynolds said last night after the Mariners trashed the Orioles for 15 hits and a 10-1 victory. "We've played good baseball here . . . but I don't want to slight any team."
The Orioles are easily slighted these days, especially when it comes to the Mariners. Seattle has won seven of its last eight games at the stadium. Since Sept. 1, 1987, the Mariners are 19-8 here for a winning percentage of .704.
Things are so out of whack that it almost seemed like a home game for Seattle's starting pitcher, Rich DeLucia, last night. Pitching before some 30 friends and relatives from his hometown of Reading, Pa., the rookie righthander scattered seven hits and improved his record to 2-2. His inspiration came from a bloated earned run average of 7.00, though, and not the family reunion.
"I wanted to come in and prove I can pitch here," DeLucia said. "I wanted to prove to myself I'm not a 7.00 ERA pitcher, or a 1-2 pitcher. I wanted to prove to myself I can dominate a game and get the win when the other team doesn't score six runs."
A four-run Seattle second inning didn't hurt DeLucia's cause any, either. While he was proving a lot to himself, the Mariners were sending another grim message to Johnson. They roughed him up for nine hits and six runs in four innings.
"We're a good low-ball hitting team," said Reynolds, whose two-run, two-out single through the middle capped the second-inning rally. "He pitches that style, keeps the ball down."
Johnson is now 0-3 lifetime against the Mariners. Worse yet, in 17 2/3 innings, they have torched him for 19 earned runs and 31 hits. They are hitting .387 against him.
It was a night for the Mariners to fatten up their averages and to talk about the streaky kind of season they've had in April. A six-game losing streak begat an eight-game winning streak that begat a five-game losing streak that ended last night.
Nevertheless, Reynolds said, "I don't think we're a streaky club. That's not the type team we are. We know what we're capable of. We played the first 19 games in our own division [the AL West]. Now it's time to take advantage of playing out of our division."
At least one member of the Mariners was still streaking, though. Third baseman Edgar Martinez, who leads the major leagues with a .422 batting average, extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a pair of singles. That's the longest streak in the majors this year.
Since Martinez was moved to the third or fourth spot in the lineup 16 games ago, he is hitting .434 with two homers, 10 runs batted in, 16 runs scored and 13 walks. He's hitting .458 during the 14-game streak.
"I'm getting good pitches to hit," Martinez decided. "The guys behind me, Alvin Davis and Pete O'Brien, they're power hitters more than me. Pitchers would rather face me than those guys."