RANGERS (69-73) AT ORIOLES (46-94)
7:05 p.m. ET; MASN2, FSSW, MLB.TV
The Texas Rangers (+1.5) have struggled on offense in the last three games, scoring just five runs total, but they still pulled out a victory in Thursday’s series opener in Baltimore. Texas will be looking for more offense and another win when the teams meet again Friday.
The Rangers scored just one run in each of their final two games against the Yankees — each losses — before doing better in a 3-1 win over Baltimore on Thursday. Nick Solak’s two-run homer was the big hit in that game.
Still, the Rangers finished with just five hits in this win, while the Texas pitchers worked their way out of several problems. The Rangers held Baltimore hitless in 13 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Left-hander Brock Burke (0-1, 1.50 ERA) is going to be pitching in his fourth major league game Friday. He has pitched well so far, giving up just three runs in 18 innings, but still hasn’t found that elusive first win.
This will be his first appearance against the Orioles.
Dylan Bundy (6-13, 4.96) starts for the Orioles. The right-hander has been inconsistent this season but has pitched better in August.
Bundy has a 3-1 career record and 1.61 ERA in six games (four starts) versus Texas.
Texas called up pitcher Yohander Mendez from Triple-A Nashville before Thursday’s game. He has missed much of 2019, pitching in just 12 minor league games, after spraining a ligament in his left elbow in spring training, according to MLB.com.
“I’d like to see him in multiple-inning stints, two or three innings,” manager Chris Woodward told MLB.com. “His stuff looks good, he is throwing hard. It’s intriguing because he has a really a good arm.”
Also, MLB.com said that outfielder Hunter Pence still is out due to a strained lower back and has not been cleared for baseball work.
The Orioles ran into the same problem Thursday that they’ve had numerous times this season — they took a lead and couldn’t hold it late.
Baltimore held a 1-0 lead going into the seventh inning before giving up the game’s final three runs. John Means, who had given up just one hit in the first six innings, allowed the two-run homer, while the Rangers tacked on one more against the bullpen in the ninth.
The bullpen has been an issue for the Orioles throughout the season. They just haven’t been able to hold leads late. But now, with the rosters being expanded in September, manager Brandon Hyde has more options.
The offense has been strong at times and banged out 10 hits on Thursday, but they came at the wrong time on several occasions. That has been an issue at times also this year.
Hanser Alberto went 1-for-5 and had a .321 average after the loss. He now ranks fourth in the American League.
Trey Mancini went 3-for-4 and scored the team’s only run in the loss, making a good slide to come in on a sacrifice fly in the sixth. Mancini now has a .278 average with 29 homers and 76 RBI.
Mancini also got trapped off of second base in the eighth on a grounder back to mound and eventually was nailed in a rundown when Texas held a 2-1 lead. The Orioles have experienced many base-running issues this season, especially recently, and it’s something Hyde told the media they continue working on.
“We run the bases during (batting practice); we have specific groups where we focus on development here in the big leagues,” Hyde said. “We had a long discussion about it (before the game), and it’s up to them to perform and do it in game situations.”
–Field Level Media