ARLINGTON, Texas—The day was hot and sticky, and for nearly two innings, the pace dragged. It took more than an hour to play the two innings, and neither starting pitcher was effective.
Yefry Ramirez yielded five runs in 1 2/3 innings against the Texas Rangers, and the Orioles hammered Drew Hutchison, who was signed the day before and immediately inserted into Texas’ starting rotation.
Ramirez was bailed out by the offense and, especially, the Orioles’ bullpen.
Mark Trumbo had a pair of two-run homers, Austin Wynns hit a three-run homer, and Jonathan Villara contributed a solo shot, his first with the Orioles in a 9-6 win over the Rangers on Sunday.
Five relievers allowed just one hit and one run in 7 1/3 innings, and struck out 12.
Tanner Scott pitched a career-high 2 1/3 innings in relief of Ramirez for the win. Scott allowed a hit and struck out four. Mychal Givens retired four batters for his second save.
The Orioles lost the first three games of the series, and Ramirez’s start was the third short one in four games. Andrew Cashner pitched just 1 2/3 innings in Thursday’s 17-8 loss. David Hess threw 3 1/3 innings in Friday’s 11-3 defeat.
In the first six games of the nine-game road trip, Oriole starters have a 10.65 ERA.
“Sometimes when you go in a rut, a ‘here-you-go-again’ thing, and our guys kept battling offensively,” manager Buck Showalter said.
“Believe me, the lure is sometimes strong. You’ve gotten beat three times, giving up a lot of runs, and you’ve got a hot, sticky day and guys just refused to give in. I thought Tanner obviously had a key outing. Mike followed up last night’s good outing.”
Ramirez, who have up five runs, five hits and five walks, is hoping to take something positive from Sunday’s start.
“I think the days like today is when you learn the most, so I’m definitely going to take advantage of the bad and make it an opportunity and try to work on my things to move forward,” Ramirez said through a translator.
After Monday’s off day, the Orioles have a three-game series at Tampa Bay.
Scott in early
Scott, who has been mentioned as a potential closer, entered the game with the bases loaded and two outs in the second inning. He struck out Ronald Guzman, and the Orioles took a 6-5 lead on Trumbo’s first home run in the third.
“It was fine. Last year I started and went three innings every time so it was a little flashback, but it wasn’t bad at all,” Scott said.
Showalter said it didn’t matter when Scott pitched because the game could have gotten away.
“Opportunities are opportunities,” Showalter said.
“Sixteen, ’17, ’18 — each year going to a higher level, walk totals have gone down, his strikeout totals have gone up, and this is part of the process and the progress he’s making. He’s going to have some outings where you’ve just got to make sure you’re in the right place in the process. We’ve talked a lot whether, ‘OK, is this what’s best for him?’ As long as he’s making strides the next time out and learning. He’s getting a lot of information from veteran pitchers and, most importantly, the experiences he’s having.”
Trumbo heating up
Trumbo followed up his two Saturday hits, which gave him 1,000 for his career, with three more Sunday, including his second two home-run game of the season.
“I think we did some really nice things this series,” Trumbo said. “It would have been nice to tack on a couple more wins, but today was a really good game for us. The bats especially have been looking pretty good, and that’s going to be important for us moving forward.”
Trumbo is one of the few veterans left on the Orioles, and he’s taking his leadership role seriously.
“I’d like to think so,” Trumbo said. “There are a few of us guys that have been around a little bit longer than most. The production comes and goes, but the attitude and the mindset is the big thing, and I think these guys are doing a good job.”
Showalter needs Trumbo to provide leadership and timely hitting.
“Mark’s not a guy that thumps his chest, and says, ‘look at me,’” Showalter said. “That’s one of the reasons why we like him. He almost didn’t play today. His knee’s been a little sore. We had drained it. You all are aware of it. We’re probably going to have to do it again when we get back [from the road trip].”
Davis sits again
For the second straight day, Chris Davis sat out.
“He’s banged up a little bit,” Showalter said. “We’re going to give him the benefit of the off day tomorrow. Hopefully, back in the lineup Tuesday. Felt like he needed one more day.
“Right now, we’re trying to get back into what Chris is capable of. One of those things where you’ve got to kind of take care of yourself first. I think Chris is focused on that.”
Jones’ generosity is spotlighted
Adam Jones is one of baseball’s most generous players. He’s given generously of his time and donated enormous sums of money to help individuals and groups.
This week, Jones learned of the plight of the financially strapped Mamie Johnson Little League in Washington, D.C.
The team, which is the first predominately African-American team to qualify for the Mid-Atlantic Regional in Bristol, Conn., needed money for bus transportation for the tournament. Victory there means a trip to the Little League World Series.
Jones came through with an $8,500 contribution.
“It meant an opportunity for a group of young men,” Jones said. “They deserved it. They won their league, an opportunity to further their season, something that’s easy for me to do, easy for me to comprehend with these kids, what they’ve been through, what they’ve earned and deserved.”
The league charges families just $20 for their children to play, and they’ve obviously excelled.
“It’s amazing to see these kids,” Jones said. “I FaceTimed them the other day. I was able to see their energy. That’s what it’s about. It’s about giving the next generation an opportunity to succeed and, hopefully, these young men make it to the next round and make themselves proud, but whatever they do, so far they’ve opened up a lot of eyes in their respective communities around the country because it’s a bigger story now.
“People are going to cheer a little harder for them, and they deserve it.”
Jones was recently named the Orioles’ winner of the “Heart and Hustle” award by the Major League Players Alumni Association for the sixth time. It spotlights excellence on the playing field and community work.
“Us black men, we see ourselves in these kids, so it’s not hard to give back. It’s not hard at all, really,” Jones said. “Someone gave me an opportunity, and look where I’m at now. Ten, 15 years from now, somebody could be saying the same thing that I did this and Adam Jones helped me out.”
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB
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