Well, that didn’t take long.
Jake Arrieta, who tossed eight scoreless innings in his last start in New York, served up a two-run homer to Josh Hamilton in the top of the first.
Rangers 2, Orioles 0.
The big mistake was walking Elvis Andrus with one out. Hamilton followed with his 11th homer, the ball eluding Adam Jones’ leaping attempt and clearing the center field fence.
The Orioles stranded two runners in the bottom of the first, but they worked Rangers starter Neftali Feliz for 27 pitches. At least they accomplished something.
J.J. Hardy doubled with one out, giving him nine hits in his last 13 at-bats to raise his average to .242. Jones walked with two outs.
Nick Markakis continues to scuffle, grounding to second after Hardy’s double. He was 1-for-14 in the Red Sox series and 0-for-3 last night.
The Orioles ranked fifth in the American League in runs scored before tonight (134), but they were fourth in their own division. Boston (155), New York (141) and Toronto (138) were ahead of them.
Update: Arrieta surrendered three home runs in six starts before tonight, but the Rangers matched that total in three innings.
Hamilton hit another one after Andrus reached on a bunt single with two outs. Adrian Beltre followed with a shot to right field, increasing the Rangers’ lead to 5-0.
Remember when the rotation had 10 quality starts in 12 games? This will be three starts in a row without one.
The inning continued with Michael Young reaching on Matt Wieters’ error and David Murphy singling to center field.
Wieters has four errors after totaling five in each of the last three seasons. He would have been charged with another one in the third on an errant pickoff throw, but Robert Andino backed up first base and ran down the ball, bringing cheers from the sparse crowd.
Arrieta has thrown 55 pitches in three innings.