Did you hear the news that the Orioles have a good offense? If not, do yourself a favor and watch the highlights of tonight's game. You won't be disappointed.
The Birds returned to their winning ways with an 11-5 win against the Texas Rangers, a game that perfectly played to every popular O's spring training narrative.
In the beginning, it was a tale of two very average pitchers putting together two very average starts with very different results. By the end? Well, let's just say the Orioles heavily bruised a whole lot of baseballs.
Texas starter Martin Perez settled into a groove with average stuff and went six strong innings of one-run baseball, while Vance Worley ultimately picked up the win in a strangely typical Orioles starting pitching performance.
After Joey Rickard started things off double and run in the first inning to put the O's up 1-0, Worley graciously coughed up the early lead in a Texas-sized manner.
The former Pirate completely unraveled with a disastrous second inning of work, allowing five runs on three hits and a pair of walks. Mitch Moreland started the rally with a solo shot before the Rangers went on to earn their large crooked number, putting four more across the plate to secure an early four-run lead.
Worley's outing had disaster written all over it ... that is, until something odd happened. Suddenly, just after Dylan Bundy started to get warm after the second inning of misery, the starter began to pour strikes over the plate and suddenly turned into a completely different pitcher.
He'd go on to toss four scoreless innings and retire 13 of his next 14 hitters with plus command, looking like a staff ace providing every opportunity for the "best lineup in the AL" to claw their way back into the game.
Through the heart of the night, the art of halting potential big innings via the GIDP was mastered by the offense with precision. Innings two, three and five were halted by twin killings, crushing rallies in their tracks. But in the top of the seventh, the Birds seemed to think the time was right to give Texas a taste of their own medicine.
In the seventh inning against Ranger relievers Tom Wilhelmsen and Andrew Faulkner, the floodgates opened.
The lineup sent 12 hitters to the plate and pushed across nine runs, exploding for the delightfully trademarked O's big inning. Mark Trumbo started the action with a two run blast, and four runs later (Jonathan Schoop and Nolan Reimold HRs included) he decided to go yard for the second time in the same inning, an Earl Weaver special to push the lead to 10-5.
Just like that the losing streak was broken. After the seven-hit, four-tater inning, the eighth Orioles win was locked and loaded.
Darren O'Day came out of the 'pen and threw a scoreless seventh, Schoop went deep again for the fifth O's round-tripper of the night in the eighth, Brad Brach handled the bottom of the inning with ease and Zach Britton did Zach Britton things to close out the game with the final three outs.
With 11 runs and 13 hits, the O's improved to 8-2 to keep command of the AL East.
Vance Worley did enough to keep the game from getting out of hand, but he's still not starting material. His arsenal of pitches isn't enough to throw every five days at this point, especially with Kevin Gausman coming back after a nice outing in Frederick. We've seen where Worley maxes out, and it surely doesn't seem to be enough to keep a 25-man roster spot.
This offense is good. Very good. Record-breaking good. When else can you remember a lineup that can score nine runs in one inning? If Mark Trumbo keeps up this pace, the record books will be shattered.
The bullpen is going to be just fine moving ahead. There are clearly plenty of plus arms to get the job done, even on nights with poor starts (and there will be a lot of them). O'Day, Britton and Brach continue to be very solid, and their talents just scratch the surface.