Two trips to the plate, two bases-loaded situations.
Henry Urrutia’s first major league game tonight has been anything but dull.
Urrutia lined a single off Rangers left-hander Joseph Ortiz with no outs in the top of the third inning for his first major league hit and RBI, increasing the Orioles’ lead to 5-0.
Ortiz, who replaced starter Ross Wolf, threw two straight sliders. Urrutia fouled off the first one and pulled the second one into left field to score Chris Davis, who remains in the game despite appearing to be in pain.
Urrutia reached third base on Brian Roberts’ two-run single over the head of Nelson Cruz, who plays right field as though he’s blindfolded and wearing roller skates. Urrutia may have been slow leaving the bag, causing Roberts to hold up and eventually get thrown out trying to advance to second.
Urrutia was thrown out at home on Nate McLouth’s fly ball to left field.
Every Orioles starter has reached base. They’ve totaled seven runs and 11 hits over three innings.
Urrutia is showing that he can handle left-handed pitching. He batted .340 with an .849 OPS against lefties at Double-A Bowie and .353 with a .774 OPS at Triple-A Norfolk.
Ortiz became his latest victim tonight.
The Orioles are 7-for-11 with RISP through 3 innings tonight. They totaled 7 hits with RISP in their previous five games combined (7-for-24, .292)
Interesting that Manny Machado removed his batting gloves for his second at-bat tonight, and he’s not wearing them in the fourth inning. No idea why.
Update: Miguel Gonzalez turned in his eighth straight quality start, holding the Rangers to one run over 6 2/3 innings. He allowed eight hits, walked none and struck out three.
Gonzalez has allowed three runs in his last three starts covering 19 1/3 innings.
The Orioles have six quality starts in their last seven games.
Update II: The Rangers scored three runs off Tommy Hunter in the bottom of the eighth inning to reduce the Orioles’ lead to 7-4.
Hunter has allowed six runs in his last three appearances.
Now it’s a save situation for Jim Johnson in the ninth unless the Orioles build on their lead.
Update III: The Orioles moved a season-high 12 games above .500 with tonight’s 7-4 victory over the Rangers.
Johnson recorded his 35th save after allowing back-to-back two-out singles in the ninth.
Urrutia went 1-for-4 with an RBI in his major league debut.
Davis grimaced again and was slow to get up after lunging for Machado’s throw in the ninth. Machado made a great barehanded pickup and throw to retire Ian Kinsler. Davis kept his foot on the bag and ended up on his stomach.
The Rangers are starting left-hander Martin Perez Sunday night. Might be a good idea to rest Davis.