Nolan Ryan's career victories were incorrectly listed in Tuesday's editions. He currently has 298 wins. (Published 7/18/90)

BALTIMORE, JULY 16 -- Nolan Ryan says he is "getting excited" now that he has 297 career victories. However, his excitement about approaching the 300 mark is no match for his happiness about not being scheduled to pitch during the Texas Rangers' three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles that began here tonight.

"If I had to pick a ballclub to miss, I'd just as soon miss Baltimore," said Ryan, who is 0-9 in 12 starts against the Orioles since April 1976, and 0-7 in eight starts at Memorial Stadium since May 1975.

His 5-16 career record against the Orioles is his worst against any major league team and his 4.42 career earned run average against them is his poorest against any American League team. (He has a 5.59 career ERA against the Houston Astros, compiled with the Mets during his first four major league seasons.) At Memorial Stadium, he is 3-10 with a 6.42 ERA.

"I don't have an ill feeling for the ballpark," he said. "When you go out to the mound, you have a good feel there and I feel like I've thrown some good games here. . . . I've pitched some good games against them and haven't won, and then I've had some of my worst games against them."

One of those games came last May, when the Orioles hit three home runs off him and won, 6-2. But that was typical of last season. He was 0-3 in three starts and allowed 16 earned runs in 19 1/3 innings. His 7.45 ERA, 10 walks and 5 homers allowed were highs for any pitcher who threw 15 or more innings against the Orioles last season.

"I'd like to say I can blame it on something, but I really can't," Ryan said. "Part of it is the type of ballclub they have here. They've always had good pitching, so they're always in the ballgame. And back in the days of Earl Weaver, he used to load up his left-handers against me and try to get in the guys who could get on base, guys who were disciplined, walked a lot and tried to make things happen. . . .

"I think every pitcher has ballclubs he does better against and clubs he doesn't do well against. For me, Baltimore happens to be one of them."

Spelling Relief

Going into tonight's game, the four runs Brian Holton allowed Sunday were the only runs Orioles relievers had allowed in their last 28 1/3 innings. Ben McDonald, Gregg Olson, Joe Price, Mark Williamson and Curt Schilling had combined for 51 consecutive scoreless innings. Williamson pitched 18 of those innings, Price 12, Schilling 9 1/3, McDonald 6 2/3, Olson 5. The bullpen's 2.59 earned run average was third in the majors, behind Oakland (2.22) and Pittsburgh (2.45). . . .

The Orioles did not draw a walk Sunday for the third time this season. They are on pace to become only the 28th team since 1900 to draw 700 or more walks. . . . Pitcher Bob Milacki is working on his second consecutive season with 10 or more wins, losses and no-decisions. He was 14-12 with 10 no-decisions last season. He is 4-6 with 10 no-decisions this season.