You know, I really don't like the Rangers that much. It doesn't matter if the Orioles are good or bad, or if the Rangers are having a good season or a bad season, they just love to score a ton of runs against the O's. Really, eight runs in back-to-back nights is small potatoes for these guys. Over the years the Rangers have clobbered the Orioles, so I never look forward to seeing them. The Rangers don't always beat the Orioles (the O's are actually 11-6 against them since 2013), but when they do, it's often ugly.
Everyone remembers the 30-3 game of course, but since that fateful day in 2007, the Rangers have scored eight or more runs against the Orioles 19 times in 64 games. That's almost 30% of the time. And we're not just talking eight or nine runs. They've score 19, 14, 13. Heck, in 2011 the Rangers scored 13 runs against the Orioles three separate times. What is that? I know the Orioles were bad then, but damn.
Anyway, that's a terrible intro for a game recap. But whenever the Rangers put up big runs against the Orioles like they did last night and tonight, I'm always reminded of how annoying the Texas Rangers can be.
Miguel Gonzalez was not good tonight, as evidenced by the three home runs that he allowed. The first, to Mitch Moreland (who has apparently declared himself Lord Oriole Killer), was a bomb to right field, hit off of a meatball by MiGo. He also gave up home runs to Robinson Chirinos and Shin-Soo Choo. The hit by Chirinos was a no-doubter, but the Choo home run looked like a fly ball that kept carrying.
Chris Davis did his best to keep the Orioles in the game in the early innings. After Adam Jones reached on an error in the first inning that should have been the third out, Davis hit his 17th home run of the year. Gonzalez gave up the two-run homer to Moreland the very next half-inning to tie the game, then in the very next inning loaded the bases with no outs, but somehow managed to get out of it allowing only two runs (via an RBI single and a run scoring on a 6-4-3 double play). Davis again undid Gonzalez's mess by hitting his 18th home run of the year, also with Jones on base.
Tie game! So Gonzalez just needed to settle down, which of course he didn't. After the two solo homers in the 5th, he was pulled from the game. Do better next time, OK, MiGo?
With the Orioles down by two, Manny Machado joined the dong party in the fifth inning, hitting an opposite field shot that landed about five rows deep. The game didn't feel out of hand at that point. The ball was flying out of the park for everyone, and one run seemed easy to make up. In fact, it felt ok right up until the eighth inning.
The usually reliable Chaz Roe came on to pitch and gave up a single to Adrian Beltre. It was actually a ball that Roe should have fielded, but he couldn't get a handle on it. That gave Moreland the Oriole Killer another chance, and he lived up to his name with a two-run opposite field home run. This one actually felt a bit unlucky. It looked like a routine fly ball that kept carrying until it landed in the first row of the seats. It all counts the same on the scoreboard, though, and it put the Orioles in a three-run hole.
With two outs in the ninth, J.J. Hardy drew a walk, then went to second base on defensive indifference. There was a bit of excitement when Travis Snider singled him in, but it was quickly extinguished when Ryan Flaherty struck out looking to end the game.
It was a good game for Davis, Machado, Brad Brach (2.1 scoreless) and Zach Britton (one filthy 1-2-3 inning). Jones gets a pass for being on base twice, even if once was an error. The rest of the Orioles can go sit in the corner and think about what they did.