On a night when it looked like they might get shut out, instead the Orioles scored six late runs to beat the Texas Rangers Saturday night. They have started their road trip with 5-2 and 6-1 wins.
It had to be nice to win coming from behind, as they were down 1-0 heading to the seventh. But to see Trey Mancini get the go-ahead run home was big-time icing on a cake that tasted pretty darn good.
There were positive signs all around.
Mancini doubled in the run in the eighth that provided a 2-1 lead. Right-hander Dean Kremer gave up just one run. The O’s bullpen has thrown 8 1/3 scoreless innings in this series. Freddy Galvis was in a 4-for-27 slump when he got to Texas. He has gone 6-for-7 in the series with three doubles and a triple. Hitting .167 when the series began, his average is now at .265.
And an O’s team that won just one game in seven tries on the first homestand doubled that win total in just over 24 hours in Arlington. They go for a series sweep this afternoon.
Yep, good signs were plentiful.
After the Orioles tied the game in the seventh on Cedric Mullins’ single, Mancini came up with two on and none out in the eighth. He fell behind lefty Joely Rodríguez 0-2 and then lined a 1-2 changeup to left to put the Orioles ahead for the first time in the game. Four insurance runs later, they pulled away late to win.
In the Baltimore dugout, Kremer could look back on his solid outing as he watched his teammates erupt when Mancini lined that ball to left.
“Electric,” Kremer said. “The whole offense just picked me up and the bullpen pitched really well. It was a great team win overall. To see Trey have success, I mean, means the world.”
Added manager Brandon Hyde: “To see him deliver in a couple of big spots, really, the base hit to right and the ball down the left-field line, that was huge for us and huge for him.”
Maikel Franco hit a two-run homer in the ninth as part of a three-hit night when the O’s added some insurance. He also had a good view of the incredible double play that Galvis started with a diving stop in the fourth.
“I mean, first of all, so beautiful. Beautiful win,” said Franco. “You play together and play as a team. Great win for us. Freddy, I’ve seen him do that for a long time. I know I have seen him make that play. For me, beautiful to watch.”
The Orioles had to be thrilled that it was Mancini who came up in such a big spot in the eighth, and that he produced such a clutch hit. Mancini was 1-for-18 over his past six games when he singled to right in the sixth. That base hit, he would say on the MASN telecast after the game, helped him get the double for the lead two innings later.
“I mean, it’s no secret I’ve been struggling a lot,” Mancini said on the telecast. “It’s, you know, been pretty rough at times. But yeah, I really dug deep. I made a little adjustment after my second at-bat today. And finally got a hit to right field, which hadn’t happened in a while. Like I said, I just dug deep and the adjustments I made really helped. And I just stayed in the at-bat, and luckily the changeup that he threw me was high enough to where I could get it in the air a little bit over the third baseman’s head.”
That single in the sixth was huge for Mancini, he said, because of where he hit the ball.
“That’s been my bread and butter my whole life, is being able to go that way (to right field). And I’ve been on my front side way too much. And I really have had to force myself, probably more than ever, to stay back, stay on my back side. And I was almost trying to shoot it into their dugout. I made an adjustment that much. So, you know, luckily it resulted in a couple of hits there, and most importantly, we ended up winning the game.”
Mancini had a nice dugout view, as the DH last night, for the great play by Galvis.
“It was incredible. But I’m not surprised if you are with these guys every day,” Mancini said. “We all work so hard in the infield, and especially Freddy. He is such a professional. Such a great hitter, fielder, teammate. He’s amazing, so I wasn’t surprised to see that at all, and Rio (Ruiz) has really made himself at home over there at second. He’s impressed me, and I think he’s impressed everybody with how well he is playing over there.”
Kremer’s take on the Galvis play: “That’s a game-saver there. To turn that right there. That would have been a real dagger, but he came up big. He had a phenomenal night.”
Kremer allowed one run over 4 2/3 innings and he pitched on three days’ rest, throwing 79 pitches. It was a big outing for him, one that featured increased use of his curveball. He threw 50 fastballs and 20 curves.
“Coming up through the minors, that was my bread and butter and started to get away from it. So, I’m glad to see it’s coming back,” he said.
Following the game, the O’s optioned Kremer to the alternate site at Bowie. But this was no demotion, but rather a move for roster management purposes with two off-days coming up Monday and Thursday. Kremer will be back.
After the Orioles scored just three runs in losing a doubleheader to Seattle on Thursday, they’ve scored 11 runs on 20 in this series, with six doubles, a triple and three homers. They have gone 5-for-17 with runners in scoring position.
O’s starting pitchers have allowed three runs in 9 2/3 innings in the series, and the Baltimore bullpen has thrown 8 1/3 scoreless innings over the two games, allowing four hits with nine strikeouts.
The ‘pen has thrown 10 1/3 scoreless innings over the last three games, has an ERA of 1.83 over the last six games and 3.65 on the year.
Today lefty John Means (1-0, 2.16 ERA) will try to pitch the Orioles to a series sweep.
THE FLIP TO THE BAREHAND 😱 pic.twitter.com/Pxt3Xo6jpo-- Baltimore Orioles 😷 (@Orioles) April 18, 2021