Baltimore Tops Texas 8-3
The Baltimore Orioles beat the Texas Rangers 8-3 Tuesday night at Camden Yards despite being out-hit by the West Division club. T.J. McFarland made his first start of the season for the Birds, throwing 5 innings, giving up 7 hits, 2 runs, and striking out 2 batters. The usual middle relief man came into the game only giving up one earned run over his last 15 2/3 innings pitched (over 8 appearances).
Steve Pearce remained hot, as he hit a solo home run (guided over the fence by Texas left fielder Shin-Soo Choo) in the bottom of the 1st inning to get the Orioles on the board early. The home run by Pearce gave the outfielder/designated hitter his third homer in his last six plate appearances, and fifth over his last 11 games. Not to be outdone by Pearce, Nelson Cruz also hit a solo home run in the 1st frame. Cruz celebrated his 34th birthday on Tuesday with his (league leading) 26th home run on the season.
The Rangers quickly tied the game up in the top of the 2nd inning, as Robinson Chirinos, Chris Gimenez, and Adam Rosales came up with three straight hits to start the inning. Gimenez’s double could have possibly been a double play ball if not for Chris Davis “misplaying” the ball towards the first base line. While the hit was not ruled an error, Davis should have probably at least gotten one out of the play.
Baltimore put themselves back on top in the bottom of the 2nd inning, with a two-run home run by Caleb Joseph (Jonathan Schoop singled up the middle with one out in the frame). Joseph’s third home run on the season (all three have come in the catcher’s previous eight games) gave the Orioles the early 4-2 lead.
J.J. Hardy and Schoop hit back-to-back singles with one out in the bottom of the 4th inning. The two hits on the night by Schoop gave the youngster three straight multi-hit games. Ryan Flaherty was given a free pass by the Rangers starter to give the Orioles bases loaded with still only one out in the inning. It looked as if Texas would get out of the frame unscathed, as Joseph hit a seemingly routine double play; however, shortstop Elvis Andrus bobbled the grounder and a run scored to extend Baltimore’s lead to 5-2.
The error by Andrus would prove to be extremely costly for the Rangers. Nick Markakis delivered by pulling a two-run double into the right field corner and Pearce hit a sacrifice fly to give Baltimore an 8-2 lead through four innings.
Alex Rios and Adrian Beltre led off the top of the 6th inning with singles off of Orioles reliever Ryan Webb. Following a fielder’s choice to move the runners over to second and third, the Rangers score a run on a groundout to Schoop at second base.
Texas was able to get the leadoff man aboard in the top of the 7th frame as well, as Rougned Odor hit a rocket into center field for a single; however, the Orioles were able to get out of the inning without giving up any runs with a nice 4-6-3 double play.
The Oriole bullpen was able to keep the Rangers offense at bay and close out the game for the win. Tommy Hunter, Zach Britton, along with O’Day and Webb only allowed three hits and one run in the four innings in relief.
Baltimore will try to take the series and win the third game of the four-game series Wednesday night, as Chris Tillman (7-4, 4.18 ERA) takes the mound for the Orioles, and Miles Mikolas (season debut) will attempt to quiet the O’s offense.