Written by Chris Slade
Tonight's game begins a three game set in Arlington and started at 8:05 ET with Ubaldo Jimenez and former Oriole lefty Joe Saunders on the mound. Adam Jones kicked off the scoring with a solo shot in the 4th and Adrian Beltre responded in the bottom half of the inning with a solo shot of his own. The Orioles went back up 2-1 in the 6th on an RBI single from Delmon Young but the Rangers tied it up in the 7th with a solo homer from Robinson Chirinos. All hell broke loose with a six-run 8th that turned a nail biter into a laugher. An RBI double by Caleb Joseph started the rally which capped off by a three run tank from Nelson Cruz. The Rangers scored a run in the 9th but the Orioles ended up with an 8-3 win.
It's June now which means Ubaldo Jimenez should begin to hit his stride and toss quality starts more often than not the rest of the way if you are one who believes he will emulate what he did last season. We shall see if he gets better as the season goes but tonight was a decent start. Texas isnt an easy environment or lineup to pitch against but Ubaldo faired pretty well aside from the solo bomb to Adrian Beltre. He's still throwing too many pitches and appears to try to go for the swinging K a bit too often which leads to many 3-2 counts. As a result, he walked four batters tonight and fell an out shy of the quality start. But, the quality stuff was there which is what we like to see. Ultimately, he picked up a no decision
Final Line: 5.2 IP, 4 H, ER, 4 BB, 5 K, ND
Brian Matusz served up the game tying home run to Robinson Chirinos in the 7th on a low inside fastball that Chirinos turned on. He stayed on to get one batter out in the 8th before Darren O'Day took over.
O'Day worked out of the 8th allowing a single to Beltre but striking out Michael Choice to end the inning.
Preston Guilmet worked the 9th inning and allowed a run on a sac fly by Robinson Chirinos.
Joe Saunders turned in a typical Saunders outing looking very hittable by allowing 10 hit yet before you knew hit he was leaving the mound at the end of the 6th with just two ER for a quality start. This was a nailbiter untill the offensive fireworks showed up with one out in the 8th inning.
It all kicked off with a Delmon Young single followed by a HBP to Jonathan Schoop. Caleb Joseph hit a ground rule double to the rightcenter gap that scored the go ahead run. Nick Markakis drove in another run with a single up the middle. Manny Machado followed with another RBI single and Nelson Cruz put the finishing touches on the big inning with a no doubter three run bomb.
Adam Jones had a big 4-for-5 night at the plate and scored twice.
Nick Markakis had a 3-for-6 night in the leadoff spot.
Delmon Young, Jonathan Schoop, and Caleb Joseph each recorded two hits for a productive night from the bottom of the order.
Defensive Highlights/ Lowlights
In the bottom of the 3rd, Chris Davis made a big diving stop on a groundball by Shin-Soo Choo, tossing to Ubaldo Jimenez at first for the out.
Key Moments In The Game
Caleb Joseph couldn't have picked a better time to get his first RBI. Down 0-2 in the count, Joseph crushed a mistake belt high outside fastball to center field which gave the Orioles the lead back. That key hit also sparked the six-run rally.
Other Notes/ Musings
Nelson Cruz is on some kind of tear and of course hits a big three-run homer in his first game back in Arlington. How bad do the Rangers wish he had accepted their qualifying offer right now?
Caleb Joseph had an interesting night, recording two big hits, getting drilled in the leg in the 9th, and also nearly having his kneecap taken out on a slide into second.
That's three wins in a row now. Keep 'em coming boys.
Orioles back at it tomorrow night at 8:05 ET. Bud Norris and Nick Martinez on the mound.
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