If the Orioles cringe at the sound of Dennis Martinez's name, it's no surprise. They are likely still gingerly massaging their egos, battered by the beating the former team member put on them almost two months ago.
Martinez made his return appearance in Baltimore on May 6. Ironically, the 10 innings that ensued earned him his first American League win since 1985 as Cleveland prevailed, 4-2.
He pitched a three-hitter and served up nine strikeouts before a packed house that welcomed him back to his former city.
Tonight, he heads to the mound trying to give the Indians their second straight victory, bringing along a 6-4 record and a 3.89 ERA.
Orioles Chris Sabo and Dwight Smith are quite familiar with Martinez and neither is terribly fond of him, as evidenced by their stats. Sabo is 9-for-40 (.225) with seven strikeouts but boasts two home runs. Smith has had slightly better luck average-wise (10-for-41, .244) but has been struck out 10 times by the Nicaraguan. Lonnie Smith similarly has struck out five times against him and has a .182 (4-for-22) average.
Next up for the Orioles is right-hander Mike Oquist (2-2, 5.18 ERA).
Only six Indians have faced Oquist and none have more than two at-bats. Oquist also can brag that he's no-hit a club as the Indians are batting .000 against him in seven at-bats.
As for the rest of the league, that's not the case. Batters are hitting .306 against him.