Small sample sizes, especially for a rookie, can be deceiving in April.
On Tuesday night at Safeco Field, Mariners right-hander Brandon Maurer looks to continue his recent success -- not the struggles of his first two outings -- in the second game of a three-game series against the Orioles.
Maurer was dominant in Spring Training but struggled in his first two Major League starts to the tune of a 16.20 ERA. Since, it's been nothing but quality starts for the 22-year-old righty.
"Learning is probably the most important thing I'm doing right now, just trying to learn every start," said Maurer, who is 2-1 with a 1.89 ERA in his last three starts. "Learning about myself more than anything, that I have to stay within what I've done to get here and build off that."
In his last start against the Angels, Maurer threw 6 1/3 shutout innings and said things have gotten smoother since his first two outings.
"It's getting more comfortable," Maurer said. "The first two games were just sporadic. Nerves were going wild and I was trying to do too much. I feel more like I belong now."
Maurer faces an Orioles team that has thrived in Safeco Field, where they have won six of their past eight.
Baltimore's Jason Hammel looks to continue that trend, and the right-hander has been solid on the road, where he has won all three of his starts while posting a 2.50 ERA. Hammel is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in three career starts against the Mariners.
Orioles: West Coast swinging
In the five games of Baltimore's West Coast road trip, Nate McLouth, Manny Machado, Nick Markakis, Adam Jones and Chris Davis are hitting a combined .358 with five homers, 22 runs scored and 22 RBIs.
• Davis is batting .366 in his past 12 games with five multi-hit efforts.
• In their past 12 games, the Orioles are batting .370 with runners in scoring position.
Mariners: Duo streaking
Infielders Dustin Ackley (nine games, .406) and Endy Chavez (eight games, .353) have active hitting streaks.
• Seattle is batting .296 in its past seven games.
• Minor League catching coordinator John Stearns joined the team on Monday and will fill in for third-base coach Jeff Datz, who was recently diagnosed with an undisclosed form of cancer.
• Orioles closer Jim Johnson has converted 31 straight saves.
• Mariners closer Tom Wilhelmsen has not allowed a run in his past 10 innings.
• The Mariners are batting .122 with runners in scoring position in their past four games.