In a season where they are on a pace to lose over 100 games, tonight, for one night at least, the Orioles posted an impressive victory.
They spotted the first-place Texas Rangers a 4-0 lead in the third inning, yet rallied to win 6-4 in the opener of a four-game series.
Texas began the night with a 50-34 record and leading the AL West by six games. They were 31-15 at home and 17-6 since June 12th.
Scott Moore hit a solo homer in the 5th and the O’s scored two in the 7th, one on a Felix Pie homer, to cut their deficit to 4-3.
They used an error, a walk, two hit batters and two singles to manufacture a three-run rally in the 8th to get the lead as Pie, Craig Tatum and Julio Lugo drove in runs.
They were able to win on a night where Jeremy Guthrie struggled again and gave up four runs over 4 2/3 innings. He has pitched to an ERA of 6.32 over his last eight starts.
But the O’s bullpen pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings with David Hernandez getting the win and Alfredo Simon his 11th save in 13 chances. He had suffered a blown save on Tuesday at Detroit.
It was an impressive comeback win and, for at least this night, O’s fans could enjoy watching their team.
Here are more notes on the Orioles victory:
*Jeremy Guthrie gave up four runs over 4 2/3 innings and is 0-6, 6.32 over his last eight starts. He has allowed 4 ER or more six times in those eight outings. Over his last two starts, he has allowed 10 ER over 8 2/3 innings.
*The O’s bullpen, which gave up 13 ER over 12 2/3 in the series at Detroit, combined to pitch 4 1/3 innings of shutout, two-hit ball in the win. Winning pitcher David Hernandez became the Orioles’ first four-game winner.
*Josh Hamilton went three for four with two doubles and a homer for Texas. He now has a 28-game home park hitting streak during which he is batting .417-13-30 with 24 runs scored.
*The Rangers lead the AL West by 5 1/2 games with a record of 50-35, but they are just 6-12 vs. the AL East which includes 2-1 vs. the Orioles and 4-11 vs. the rest of the division.
*Julio Lugo went 2 for 4 with an RBI and, over his last five games, is 9 for 18 with 4 RBI, raising his average from .232 to .263.
*The Orioles hit two homers in the win, but no triples. They had recorded a triple in four straight games, one off the club record.
*Texas starter Tommy Hunter had allowed 2 ER or less all five of his Major League starts this season, until giving up three runs to the Orioles. He had given up just one homer over 36 1/3 until he yielded solo shots to Felix Pie and Scott Moore.
*The O’s improve to 2-5 on their current road trip, 3-12 in two-run games, 10-34 in road games and 26-59 on the season.
*Friday night at Texas, it’s Brian Matusz (3-9, 4.56) vs. Scott Feldman (5-8, 5.51). Matusz is coming off an outing where he pitched seven shutout innings at Boston. But he gave up a season-high seven runs in just 2 1/3 innings on May 20 vs. Texas.