The Orioles used some late game heroics to take the first two games of their first series at Globe Life Field, before dropping game three in 10 innings.
Oriole pitching came to play this weekend, giving up only four runs in the series and posting a 0.98 ERA, while striking out the Rangers 34 times. Oriole hurlers gave up only two home runs and walked only eight during the three-game series.
At the plate, Freddy Galvis’ bat came alive in a huge way, as the new Oriole went 6-for-11 with three doubles and four runs scored. This series alone raised the shortstop’s average from .167 to .245. As a team, the Orioles batted .235 with three home runs, while striking out 30 times.
The Orioles entered game one of the series in Texas Friday night, after having lost three of four to Seattle. The Orioles’ pitching came out strong, as Jorge López went five innings, striking out eight, while giving up two runs.
The bullpen crew of Paul Fry, Dillon Tate, Adam Pletko, and César Valdez went four scoreless innings, while striking out seven Rangers and surrendering only two hits. The Rangers failed to even reach base until the fourth inning and scored both of their runs in the fifth inning off back-to-back home runs by David Dahl and Nick Solak.
The Orioles kicked off their scoring in the third inning with a triple by the struggling Freddy Galvis, followed by a double by the scorching hot Cedric Mullins. The fourth inning saw Rio Ruiz hit a solo home run to left-center, bringing the score to 2-0.
The Orioles kept their scoring going in the fifth inning with a leadoff double by Galvis, a single by Mullins, and another sacrifice by Anthony Santander. D.J. Stewart brought Mullins and himself home with a monster 436-foot home run to right field.
The Orioles did not record another hit in the game after the fifth inning, and the Rangers logged only two. No runs were scored in the last four innings of the game, as the bullpens of both teams locked the game down.
Jorge López got his first win of the season with the 5-2 victory, while lowering his ERA to 8.56. Valdez recorded his third save in four chances by striking out Jose Trevino to end the game. The Baltimore Battery Player of the Game was D.J. Stewart, who got the game-sealing home run.
Late game heroics were in order for the Orioles Saturday evening, as the O’s scored runs in the seventh, eighth, and ninth to guarantee a series win in Texas.
Dean Kremer went 4.2 strong innings, giving up one run and striking out six before giving way to the bullpen. Oriole relievers Wade LeBlanc, Travis Lakins Sr., Tanner Scott, and Shawn Armstrong combined to go 4.1 innings, while surrendering only two hits and no runs. The Rangers scored their only run of the game in the fourth inning off three singles by Nate Lowe, Adolis García, and David Dahl.
Oriole bats were fairly quiet through the first six innings, recording only five hits and failing to score. The bats got kick-started in the seventh, when Galvis hit a two-out double to deep center, followed by a Mullins single bringing Galvis home.
The Orioles kept the hit-parade going in the eighth, when Stewart opened the inning with a single to deep right, followed by a Maikel Franco single. Trey Mancini broke the 1-1 tie with a much-needed double to left scoring Stewart and sending Franco to third. Ryan Mountcastle then hit a sacrifice fly that scored Franco.
The Orioles entered the ninth with a 3-1 lead and looked to add some insurance. They got their wish, when Galvis kicked off the inning with a ground rule double. Following back-to-back strikeouts by Mullins and Santander, Stewart singled to left, scoring Galvis. Franco then topped it off with a two-run homer to right-center, securing a 6-1 Orioles victory.
Lakins Sr. was the winning pitcher, and Freddy Galvis was the Baltimore Battery Player of the Game for his multi-hit effort.
The final game of the series Sunday afternoon was a classic pitcher’s duel, with neither team scoring until the 10th inning. The two teams combined for only eight hits through the first nine innings, and both teams made great plays in the field to keep the game scoreless.
Orioles ace, John Means, came out throwing, going seven innings, giving up only three hits, while striking out nine Rangers’ batters. Means threw 66 of his 96 pitches for strikes and threw first pitch strikes to 16 of the 26 batters he faced.
The bullpen took over in the seventh, and the combination of Plutko, Fry, and Valdez went two innings, giving up one hit and no runs.
The 10th inning saw the Orioles move the inherited runner, Franco, to third with a line out to left by Mountcastle. Trey Mancini came in to pinch hit and came through in a big way, or so it seemed. Franco was held up at third to ensure that the ball was not caught and was called out at home after a collision with the catcher, Trevino. Galvis then struck out swinging.
Lakins Sr. entered the game in the bottom of the 10th needing a great inning to prevent Texas from scoring the winning run. Things started off great for the Orioles, when Eli White bunted the ball back to Lakins, Sr., who threw the runner out at third trying to advance.
The Rangers then had a runner on first with one out, and it seemed as thought the threat was neutralized. Lakins, Sr. had other ideas, however. After a wild pitch moved White to second, Lakins, Sr. walked Willie Calhoun. With runners on first and second, Lakins, Sr. struck out Isiah Kiner-Falefa for the second out. Needing only one out to get out of the inning, Lakins, Sr. walked Solak, before surrendering a walk-off, infield single by Nate Lowe.
Lakins, Sr. took the loss, and John Means, with a masterful performance, was the Baltimore Battery Player of the Game.
The Orioles came out of the series at 7-9, tied for third place in the A.L. East with the Toronto Blue Jays, three games behind the division-leading Boston Red Sox. The Yankees hold the bottom spot in the division at 5-10, while also sporting the worst record in the American League.
The Orioles have an off day Monday, before traveling to Miami for a two-game series with the 7-8 Marlins beginning Tuesday.
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