Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Orioles 5, Rangers 3
By Richard Durrett
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Baltimore Orioles scored four runs in the fifth inning off starter Scott Feldman and the Rangers weren't quite able to come back as Pedro Strop got a big strikeout of Josh Hamilton in the seventh inning in a 5-3 Baltimore victory. Some quick thoughts:
What it means: The Rangers still can't seem to crack the barrier of 22 games over .500. This was the fourth time they attempted to reach the mark this season. ... It's also the eighth time in the last 12 games the club has scored three or fewer runs. ... The Orioles have won 70 straight games when leading after seven innings, the longest active streak in the majors (Rangers are second at 57).
Former Ranger gets Hamilton: In one of the biggest at-bats of the game, Hamilton came up against Strop representing the go-ahead run in a 5-3 game with two outs and two on base. He got ahead in the count 2-0 and 3-1 before swinging at a pitch in the dirt to make the count full. Hamilton then hit a long foul ball off a hanging slider into the Lexus club level in right field. Strop then came back with a slider -- again in the dirt -- and got Hamilton to swing and miss to end the inning and keep the score at 5-3. ... It was a tough game for Hamilton, who had three strikeouts and finished 0-for-4.
Four-run fifth: Feldman was pitching well before running into trouble in the fifth inning of a tie game. Manny Machado hit a fly ball to deep right-center with one and one out. Hamilton dived for it, but it was barely out of his reach and Omar Quintanilla scored to break the tie. ... With two outs, J.J. Hardy hit a double the other way (he got some help getting to second when Nelson Cruz bobbled the ball) to plate Machado. ... Nate McLouth then hit a two-run home run deep -- 393 feet -- to right field to put the Orioles ahead 5-1.
Unearned run: The Orioles scored an unearned run in the top of the first. McLouth walked on a close 3-2 pitch with two outs and then stole second base. Catcher Geovany Soto's throw was well wide of the bag and into center field, allowing McLouth to go to third. He scored when Feldman's fastball was high and off the glove of Soto for a wild pitch.
100 in five: Feldman needed 100 pitches to get through five innings before he was lifted in favor of Michael Kirkman. The fifth inning ended his night when he got some sinkers and cutters up in the zone a bit. But Feldman did have a nice changeup that was full of movement. He got a couple of strikeouts with the pitch, which moved all over the place and had the Orioles confused. ... Feldman had four strikeouts, two of them on changeups.
Long balls: Ian Kinsler hit his 14th home run of the season with two outs and no one on in the third to tie the score at one. Kinsler was 3-for-his-last-37 before the home run, his first since Aug. 2. ... Soto hit his second home run for the Rangers, sending one 370 feet to left with David Murphy on base in the seventh, closing the gap to 5-3.
Impressive throw: Murphy scampered to a single hit toward the left-field line by Machado, who tried to get to second. Murphy turned and threw a bullet to Kinsler at second, who applied the tag for the out. ... It was Murphy's fourth outfield assist of the season, third most on the club (behind Cruz and Hamilton).
It's nice outside: The game-time temperature was 75 degrees, a rarity for August. Last year, the Rangers and Red Sox played on Aug. 21 and the temperature at first pitch was 102 degrees. ... It was the lowest temperature at first pitch in August in Arlington since Aug. 1, 2009, when it was 72 (thanks to Jason Vida at ESPN Stats & Information).
Tidbits: The Rangers' catchers were 12-for-91 (13.1 percent) on throwing runners out coming into the game, and Soto's errant throw made him 0-for-10. ... Elvis Andrus made a nice sliding catch on a foul ball down the left-field line. He had a long way to run and got there as Adrian Belte and Murphy also converged on it. ... Beltre made yet another great play, getting to a hard shot with an awkward hop to retire the first batter of the eighth inning. Beltre got to it to his left, spun and threw the ball on a line to first.
Up next: Rangers left-handed starter Derek Holland (7-6, 4.98 ERA) goes up against former Ranger Tommy Hunter (4-7, 5.49 ERA) at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and FSSW.