J.J. Hardy has reached base safely in 13 of his last 14 games. He’s 8-for-12 in his last two.
Matt Wieters has a hit in eight straight games and 13 of his last 14.
Robert Andino has now homered in consecutive games twice in his career.
The bullpen had allowed one earned run in the last 35 2/3 innings before Jason Berken gave up two earned (seven total) in the ninth inning.
Stu Pomeranz blanked the Rangers over three innings, allowing three hits, walking one and striking out two.
Was he nervous?
“Well, yeah, absolutely,” he said. “It felt great, though. Once I got out there on the mound, the nervous energy went away, and I just felt good again.”
Pomeranz’s fastball topped out at 96 mph.
“I’m going right after these guys just like I did at the lower levels,” he said. “I’m just going right at them.”
And he’s doing it as a rookie at 27.
“I didn’t want to take in the moment,” he said. “I didn’t want to realize what I was doing until after it was done. “Obviously, it’s a big deal. It’s my first outing in the big leagues.”
Pomeranz relieved Brian Matusz, who gave up seven runs and 10 hits in five-plus innings and threw 103 pitches.
“I just never got in a good rhythm today, getting behind guys all game and flying open on pitches and leaving some breaking balls out over the plate,” he said.
“Any rough outing is disappointing, especially with the momentum we had as a team, coming off a good roadstand. And I just didn’t keep the team in the ballgame today. Made some bad pitches and you’ve got to move forward.
“I absolutely wanted to go deep in the game. That’s the plan for every start to go deep, especially with the 17-inning game we had yesterday, the depleted bullpen. Sure, it would have been nice to go seven or eight, but I didn’t get the job done today.”
The leadoff hitter reached in each of the first three innings, and Matusz didn’t have his first clean frame until the fifth.
“I felt like I was in and out today,” he said. “I felt like I had some plus innings and then some bad innings where the command really faltered. I wasn’t able to get in on righties and just getting behind on counts. So, yeah, it all started with the fastball, being able to establish that and I wasn’t able to do that today. Like I said, hanging breaking balls over the plate.”
Brandon Snyder was unstoppable against his former team, tying his career high with three hits and collecting a career-best six RBIs.
“I’m probably going to have to wake up tomorrow and read something to make sure it happened,” he said. “It’s a special night, being back in Baltimore, but the biggest thing is having my family there. They haven’t seen me since spring training. It’s been awesome.”
The Orioles traded Snyder to the Rangers over the winter for cash considerations, needing to clear a spot on their 40-man roster, so tonight’s game had to make him feel especially good.
“I think the best answer is, it’s about us going out there and playing a good team right now,” he said, not taking the bait. “They’re obviously doing really well and we’re doing really well.
“It’s a lesson learned for me. It’s something that kind of bugged me in the past, but they were also the team to give me my opportunity to come here. It’s just something to build on.
“I’m just really fortunate for the opportunity the Rangers have given me, and also to have my family in town was really special.”