Written by Chris Slade
Tonights game started at the usual 7:05 ET and featured Nick Martinez and T.J. McFarland on the mound. The Orioles jumped on Martinez with two quick solo shots in the 1st off the bats of Steve Pearce and Nelson Cruz. The Rangers responded in the top of the 2nd when Adam Rosales hit a two-run double off McFarland to tie it up. Caleb Joseph broke the tie with a big two-run blast in the bottom of the 2nd. The O's increased their lead to 8-2 with a big 4-run 4th inning, highlighted by a two-run double from Nick Markakis. The Rangers were able to pick up a third run in the 6th but the Orioles ran away with this one by an 8-to-3 final score.
With Bud Norris on the DL, the Orioles called upon long man T.J. McFarland to make the spot start and he turned in a very serviceable effort. The Rangers picked up a couple early runs on him, but he was able to limit the damage, scattering seven hits over five innings and iducing two key double plays. He showed good control of his sinking 89-91 MPH sinking fastball and didn't walk a batter. McFarland picked up two strikeouts in the 4th inning, one on a deceptive 83 MPH low and away changeup to Robinson Chirinos. The other came on a low and away 90 MPH sinker that Adam Rosales wiffed on to end the inning. McFalrand didn't need to be sexy. He just needed to give the Orioles five solid innings of work, which he did, and picked up his first MLB win as a starter in the process.
Final Line: 5 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, Win
Ryan Webb entered in the 6th and allowed the lone run to score off the relief corps on the night on an RBI single by Chris Gimenez.
Tommy Hunter pitched a scoreless 7th inning, allowing just a single. He has quietly lowered his ERA to 4.62 after tonight's outing.
Darren O'Day o'dazzled tonight in the 8th as he struck out the side in order.
Zach Britton also looked sharp tonight, pitching a three up-three down 9th with a strikeout.
The Orioles continue to mash and bash on offense. After leading the majors with 46 bombs in June, the Orioles have kicked off July with three already. The bats picked up their first four runs via the long ball and picked up the latter four during a big 4th inning. J.J. Hardy and Jonathan Schoop singled with Ryan Flaherty following them with a walk to load the bases for Caleb Joseph. Joseph would reach on a fielding error and Nick Markakis followed with a big two-run double. Steve Pearce capped off the inning with a sac fly.
Pearce looks to continue his scorching hot month of June as well, hitting his third home run of the series tonight.
Nelson Cruz has hit his former team fairly well this season and put out his 26th home run tonight which is tied for the major league lead.
Caleb Joseph is starting look more comfortable at the plate with his third home run in his last ten games tonight. The batting average is slowly creeping up towards the mendoza line as well.
Defensive Highlights/ Lowlights
Ryan Flaherty flashed his leather at third base tonight, making a diving stop on a groundball, then firing to second from his knees for a force out.
An error-free night in the field for the birds.
Key Moments In The Game
The Orioles jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the 1st. Early leads are always a plus.
There were a couple key instances whent the Rangers threatened for a possible big inning against McFarland. With a runner on first and a dangerous lefty killer in Adrian Beltre up at the plate, McFarland was able to induce a key double play in the 3rd to work out of the inning. He picked up another key inning ending double play in the 5th that stranded two runners on base.
Other Notes/ Musings
Steve Pearce can do no wrong right now. His home run tonight is a gret example as the ball barely found its way out of the yard, hitting off the bottom of the left field foul pole. The umps needed video review to confirm the homer.
Chris Davis, on the contrary, is now 0-for his last 19 at bats and hitting just .205 on the year. Not what we like to see from one of our offensive stalwarts but I'm sure he'll heat up at some point.
The Rangers are shuffling their rotation and will be recalling right Miles Mikolas from AAA to make the start tomorrow. Tough assignment for him to face the B-more bombers in his first MLB start.
Chris Tillman will be on the mound for the Orioles.
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