The Orioles put the brakes on their most recent losing skid on Sunday. Mark Trumbo hit a pair of home runs, Jonathan Villar continued his hot August, and the Birds bullpen came up huge in a long day of relief as the O’s beat the Rangers 9-6 at Globe Life Park in Arlington.
Yefry Ramirez (aka Yefri Rodriguez) entered the game today with a 2.51 ERA in day games during the 2018 season. Opposing hitters were batting just .163/.241/.245 against the O’s right-hander under the sun. Those are impressive numbers, and with a local 2:05 p.m. start time in this one they seemed to be a harbinger of good things to come. Unfortunately, they were not. Ramirez’s numbers during day games are no longer so pretty.
The 24-year-old Ramirez struggled in his last start (July 31 at Yankees: five innings, six runs). He managed to be worse on Sunday. This time, he failed to even get out of the second inning.
Ramirez’s struggles all stemmed from an inability to locate any of his pitches. Across what would be only 1.2 innings of work, Ramirez threw 69 pitches, of which only 34 were strikes.
The trouble started right away. He retired the first two hitters of the game but then served up a hard hit ball to the right center gap by Elvis Andrus that Mark Trumbo played from a double into a triple. That is when Ramirez’s control really started to abandon him. He walked the next two hitters before Robinson Chirnos singled to drive in Andrus and Jurickson Profar.
It got even worse in the second inning. He began the frame with another walk, this time to Willie Calhoun. A double by Drew Robinson moved Calhoun to third. Shin-Soo Choo flew out to left field, scoring Calhoun. Rougned Odor followed with a double on a bloop into left field, but Robinson only moved to third because he had to wait and see that it fell in. The tentative base-running didn’t hurt him, though, as an Andrus groundout brought Robinson home.
That was the last batter Ramirez would get out. He concluded his afternoon with a walk to Profar, an RBI single to Joey Gallo and another walk to Chirinos. With that, the O’s starter was pulled from the game. His final line: 1.2 innings, five runs, five hits, five walks and one strikeout. Tanner Scott come on in relief and used that nasty slider of his to strikeout Ronald Guzman and stop the bleeding.
As bad as Ramirez pitched, he was not saddled with a loss that he probably deserved. The Orioles bats came to play in this one, scoring in each of the first three innings. Also, Drew Hutchison started for the Rangers, and he is pretty terrible. There’s a reason why he had not started an MLB game since 2016.
Jace Peterson led off with a single and moved to second base on a Tim Beckham bunt down the third base line. The newest Oriole Jonathan Villar worked a walk in front of a Mark Trumbo single. Peterson scored on the hit, but Trumbo was thrown out between first and second base as he tried to advance on the throw home.
Austin Wynns hit his third home run of the season in the top of the second inning. This one was an Earl Weaver Special, scoring Trey Mancini and Joey Rickard, who had both reached base via a walk.
The Birds added two more in the third inning. Villar reached base yet again, this time on a single. Then he stole second base. At first, he was called out, but a review overturned the call. Villar came in to score moments later on a Trumbo home run to left field. Just like that, the O’s had overcome their starter’s disastrous outing and put themselves ahead 6-5.
Meanwhile, Scott was dominating on the mound. He had come in to finish the second inning and then also worked a scoreless third and fourth while striking out four Rangers. It was his longest outing of the season, and the young lefty’s slider looked especially filthy. All four strikeouts came on that breaking ball.
Villar’s hot start to his Orioles career continued in the top of the fifth inning with a solo homer from the right side of the plate against Matt Moore. It was his first long ball in the black and orange and seventh of the season. It’s obviously still very early, but nabbing him in the Jonathan Schoop deal could prove to a be a savvy bit of business. At the very least, Villar could become another useful trade chip in the O’s rebuild.
The Villar-Trumbo machine kept on churning in the seventh inning. Villar kicked things off with a two-out double to right field. Like clockwork, Trumbo smacked his second dong of the day to extend the Orioles lead and make it a 9-5 score. The four-bagger was Trumbo’s 15th of the season and gave him five RBI on the day.
That was the end of the offense for the O’s. The Orioles bullpen had a busy and impressive afternoon. After Scott’s 2.1 innings, Donnie Hart tossed 1.2 scoreless frames, Miguel Castro had a clean 1.1 innings in which he struck out four batters, Paul Fry had a tough 0.2 inning and allowed a run, but Mychal Givens came to the rescue, cleaned up Fry’s mess in the eighth and proceeded to deliver a perfect ninth inning for his second save of the season.
The Orioles are off on Monday as they travel to Tampa Bay to begin a three-game set with the Rays at Tropicana Field on Tuesday night. Alex Cobb (3-14, 5.83 ERA) will be on the bump in the opening game. He will be opposed the recently acquired Tyler Glasnow (1-2, 4.27 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m.
Who was the Most Birdland Player for Tuesday, August 14
This poll is closed
Andrew Cashner (W, 7 IP, 3 K’s)
Adam Jones (2-4, HR, 2B)
Chris Davis (2-4, HR, 2B)
Tim Beckham (1-4, HR, 2 RBI)
Mychal Givens (S, 1 IP, 1 SO)