**Join us in the Orange Crush live chat at 7:00 as the Orioles go for the three-game sweep against the Seattle Mariners**
BALTIMORE — After toppling King Felix in a 4-2 victory on Wednesday night, the Orioles (16-19) send Zach Britton to the hill with the chance to complete a three-game sweep over the Seattle Mariners tonight at 7:05.
Britton will go for his sixth win of the season after the Orioles did not have a pitcher record his sixth victory of 2010 until Jeremy Guthrie on August 8. The last Baltimore pitcher to record his sixth win while still in the month of May was Kris Benson in 2006.
According to Elias, the last two Orioles pitchers to record their sixth win as early as May 12 were Scott Erickson (May 11, 1997) and Jimmy Key (May 7, 1997). Unsurprisingly, that also marked the last time the Orioles had a winning season.
Seattle will counter tonight with left-hander Justin Vargas who will be making his fifth career start against the Orioles. He is 1-1 with a 2.35 earned run average in his four starts (23 innings) against Baltimore.
After missing Wednesday’s game while stricken with a stomach bug, Nick Markakis is back in the Orioles lineup, and Mark Reynolds regains his spot at third base after getting the night off in the second game of the series. With a lefty taking the bump for Seattle, Buck Showalter will rest Luke Scott and give a rare left-field start to utility man Robert Andino.
Looking at tonight’s lineup, it’s astonishing to see leadoff hitter Brian Roberts with the lowest on-base percentage (.270) among Orioles starters. The veteran is hitless in his last 27 at-bats and has just two hits in the month of May. It’s hard to remember a time when the long-time second baseman has struggled this mightily despite many fans focusing on the struggles of newcomers Derrek Lee and Mark Reynolds.
In other news, relief pitcher Josh Rupe has been assigned to Triple-A Norfolk after clearing waivers. He was designated for assignment to clear room for the returning J.J. Hardy on Tuesday.
The Orioles also announced their April 22 postponed game against the New York Yankees will be made up at 1:05 p.m. on Saturday, August 27 as part of a day-night doubleheader at Camden Yards.
Here are tonight’s starting lineups:
RF Ichiro Suzuki
3B Chone Figgins
1B Justin Smoak
C Miguel Olivo
DH Jack Cust
LF Mike Wilson
2B Jack Wilson
SS Luis Rodriguez
CF Michael Saunders
SP Jason Vargas (2-2, 4.68 ERA)
2B Brian Roberts
RF Nick Markakis
1B Derrek Lee
DH Vladimir Guerrero
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
SS J.J. Hardy
3B Mark Reynolds
LF Robert Andino
SP Zach Britton (5-2, 2.93 ERA)
As we do for every weeknight home game, join us in the Orange Crush live chat beginning at 7:00. Talk about the game with us as an array of WNST.net personalities visit the cyber sports bar throughout the evening! Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the latest updates and analysis regarding the happenings from Oriole Park at Camden Yards!