When a pitcher loads the bases with no outs, he figures to sit in the dugout after the inning and count all the runs he surrendered.
Jeremy Guthrie was hoping to count his blessings, maybe hold the Rangers to one run.
It didn't happen.
The Rangers scored four runs in the bottom of the first to put the Orioles in a big, early hole.
Guthrie gave up a leadoff double to Ian Kinsler and issued back-to-back walks to Elvis Andrus and Josh Hamilton. He lost Hamilton after getting ahead, 1-2.
Adrian Beltre followed with a fly ball to left field that fooled Felix Pie, who raced to the warning track, slammed on the brakes and ran toward the infield to make a basket catch. Kinsler tagged up and scored on the play.
Guthrie most certainly would have settled for allowing one run, but Michael Young doubled to score Andrus and Nelson Cruz grounded a two-run single into center field.
Another night will pass without the Orioles getting a quality start.
Guthrie threw 38 pitches in the first inning, and he needed a strikeout-throw out double play to get back to the dugout.
As I wrote earlier today, Orioles starters had completed seven innings just once in the last 21 games before tonight and posted a 6.66 ERA. The rotation is 2-7 with a 7.95 ERA in the last 11 games,
Earlier today, manager Buck Showalter suggested that Guthrie could start Sunday in Boston. It depended on what the right-hander did tonight. Guthrie could work on short rest if he's knocked out early tonight.
Showalter said Mitch Atkins was the "frontrunner" to start Sunday, but he might have another option.
Showalter also indicated that Alfredo Simon could start Saturday against the Red Sox instead of Chris Jakubauskas.
Simon will leave the Orioles on July 17 to attend a hearing the next day in the Dominican Republic related to the New Years Day shooting. The club is hoping that he can return on the 19th.
Instant update: Derrek Lee snapped an 0-for-14 slump with a two-run homer in the top of the second. Rangers 4, Orioles 2.
Matt Wieters doubled, Mark Reynolds struck out and Lee cleared the fence in center field. The ball traveled an estimated 420 feet.