Orioles' lose, 1-0, in 10 innings to Rangers; Means dominant; Hitters struggle with shadows - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles’ lose, 1-0, in 10 innings to Rangers; Means dominant; Hitters struggle with shadows

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

Nate Lowe’s 10th-inning bases-loaded single gave the Texas Rangers a 1-0 victory over the Orioles on Sunday at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

In the bottom of the 10th, Charlie Culberson, the Rangers’ automatic runner at second, was thrown out when Eli White’s bunt was fielded by Travis Lakins, the Orioles’ fourth reliever. Lakins fielded the bunt on one bounce, an then turned and threw to Maikel Franco, who tagged out Culberson.

White moved to second on a wild pitch by Lakins. Willie Calhoun and Isiah Kiner-Falefa struck out. Lakins threw another wild pitch, sending runners to second and third.

Nick Solak walked to load the bases, and Lowe singled to left to score White.

The Orioles (7-9) had won the first two games of the three-game series but had only five hits.

Texas’ Kyle Gibson allowed just four hits in eight scoreless innings, and John Means gave up only three in seven shutout innings.

“It was two really good starters that were on today,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “A pretty good baseball game. Two really good pitching performances by both sides.”

The Orioles allowed just four runs in the three games.

“I’m happy with how we pitched coming into this series. I thought we threw the ball extremely well this series,” Hyde said. “I think our starters are doing a great job. I think our bullpen is doing a great job.”

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The Orioles had an excellent chance to score in the top of the 10th. Franco, the automatic runner at second, took third when Calhoun took away a hit from Ryan Mountcastle by making a running and tumbling catch in deep left. Trey Mancini, who didn’t start for the first time this season, then hit a sinking liner to right that dropped in for a single.

However, it wasn’t clear if the ball would drop, and Franco stayed close to third before breaking for home. Texas rightfielder Adolis Garcia made a strong throw home, and catcher Jose Trevino received the throw up the third base line and tagged Franco in a collision for the second out. Freddy Galvis struck out to end the 10th.

“I saw a really nice defensive play by the rightfielder,” Hyde said. “It’s a really, really tough read. Ball’s up in the air … From our vantage point, which is pretty much the same as Franco’s, I didn’t know if it was going to hang up for him or not, so he went bag to tag, and the guy just made a heck of a throw. They played good defense in the top of the 10th.”

Hyde asked home plate umpire Sam Holbrook for a crew chief reivew on the play at the plate because he thought that Trevino was blocking Franco’s path.

“I wanted him to take a look, but we wouldn’t have gotten that, anyways,” Hyde said.

Ramón Urías had two of the Orioles’ five hits, a single and double, and he said that the hitting environment was difficult  because of the shadows on the field.

“Definitely very tough to hit with the shadows,” Urías said. “All of my teammates were talking about it in the dugout, how difficult it was. I had a good day but, unfortunately, overall we were not able to be the offensive team that we can be.”

Means’ outstanding day: Means pitched seven excellent innings, giving up just three hits. He struck out nine and walked two, lowering his ERA to 1.52.

It was Means’ second quality start of the season. In the Orioles’ opener on April 1st, Means pitched seven shutout innings against Boston, giving up one hit.

“The changeup was definitely the lifesaver today,” Means said. “I got my curveball over for strikes. The heater was playing well up in the zone, and I was getting some swings and misses on that. Really, the whole mix was playing well today.”

Urias enjoyed playing behind Means at second base.

“I think today was his day,” Urías said. “All of his pitches were working really well for him. He was nasty on all of his pitches. I was disappointed that, unfortunately, we couldn’t get a victory for him, but he threw the ball pretty darn well.”

Hyde couldn’t have asked for more from Means.

“He was in total command,” Hyde said. “He had a great fastball that he was locating. He threw some really good curveballs. The changeup was there, seven shutout innings, nine punchouts. That pretty much says it all right there.”

Means thinks the starters’ success feeds off each other.

“We’re such a young team,” Means said. “When everybody is doing well, you start to create that energy and start to build off that. Guys are really finding out who they are.”

Globe Life Field: Because of the pandemic, the Orioles couldn’t visit the Rangers’ new park, Globe Life Field, in its first season.

“It’s really nice, first class,” Hyde said. “It’s a big stadium. It’s a big park. It’s not like the old park [Globe Life Park]. The ball really jumped. It felt like fly balls turned into homers easily. You’ve really got to hit one to get one out of here. It’s a pitchers’ park, great surface, great environment. The amenities are first class. They did a really nice job.”

Coming up: The Orioles are off on Monday. They play two games in Miami against the Marlins. Matt Harvey (0-1, 5.02 ERA) will face Nate Neidert (0-0, 4.00) on Tuesday at 6:40 p.m. Bruce Zimmermann (1-1, 4.24) will face Trevor Rogers (1-1, 2.40) on Wednesday afternoon at 1:10.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. CalsPals

    April 18, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    Nice job Rich, was there a lot of confusion on tag up in the 10th? Was kind of surprised they sent him…great pitching series for the O’s…go O’s…

    • CalsPals

      April 18, 2021 at 6:32 pm

      Or maybe didn’t pinch run for him…go O’s…

    • Rich Dubroff

      April 18, 2021 at 6:36 pm

      It was an unusual play, Ray. He thought it was going to be caught, and a great throw by Garcia. You have to run in that situation, you must run.

    • Shamus

      April 18, 2021 at 6:41 pm

      No you go halfway and if it’s caught you go back . Right fielder didn’t even dupe him. He either misjudged

    • Shamus

      April 18, 2021 at 6:41 pm

      Or he wasn’t looking . Bad baserunning in my opinion

    • CalsPals

      April 18, 2021 at 6:53 pm

      Shamus, I tend to agree with you, also, he is not very fast…go O’s…

  2. BirdsCaps

    April 18, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    I only listened to it, but means had a heck of a game. If he keeps this up and the orioles are smart, they would have him sign a bridge contract to buy out arbitration and first yr or two of free agency. Once again, I can’t stand the extra innings rules. Serious question, how are the runs counted in the score book, during extras? The rule just adds no real excitement to the game and is only used to shorten games.

    • Rich Dubroff

      April 18, 2021 at 6:37 pm

      The automatic runner’s run is not an earned run.

  3. TxBirdFan

    April 18, 2021 at 6:45 pm

    Just returned from watching a really good game today Globe Life Field. Means made a believer out of me, but folks, we need to start looking for a new third baseman and I mean right now! Franco had a horrible game – loafing to first base on grounders while everyone else is busting their humps, booting a fairly easy ground ball for an error, then loafing again to the plate from third and getting thrown out by the Right fielder on a single!! Who gets thrown out when starting from 3B on a single to the outfield!!!! I’ve never seen they before. He didn’t even slide which might have helped. Rich – your comment about Lakins throwing out the Rangers runner at 3B in the 10th was even questionable because Franco had a late tag even tho the ball was there well before the runner. Franco is just lazy and there’s no room for that in the clubhouse for a team that is rebuilding talent and culture. He needs to go – start looking for someone else. (Hope I’ve made my point!)

    • CalsPals

      April 18, 2021 at 6:56 pm

      Horrible tag at third, way too high, he got lucky the call on the field was out & they didn’t see enough to overturn, had he been called safe at third the review would’ve probably confirmed that as well, agree, not one part of his game involves hustle…go O’s…

    • TxBirdFan

      April 18, 2021 at 9:42 pm

      Your spot on CP. Rangers fans in front of me were upset but as you/I explained, they didn’t have enough to overturn it even if there was a tie with the ball and runner getting there at the same time. Franco easily had 3-4 miscues in this game.

  4. Orial

    April 18, 2021 at 8:42 pm

    Franco reminds me of Delmon Young and you know what Young was?–you got it–a DH. Nuff said. Rich does the 3B coach have any responsibility on that “play”? The new Texas Stadium a pitchers park. No kiddin’. Wish OPACY could be remodeled somewhat to resemble it(maybe not as drastic). Yes Franco is somewhat of a liability BUT being 3rd in the AL in RBI’s(yes I still add the “s”)is awfully sweet. Nice overall series. Kinda dread Fridays return home. Never seen anybody hit and drive the ball so hard and so well as Mountcastle did this weekend and have nothing to show for it. All’s good though he’s almost there. On to Miami and probably some more 2-1 games.

    • Rich Dubroff

      April 18, 2021 at 8:57 pm

      Since I wasn’t there, and like you was watching on TV, I couldn’t see the entire play and didn’t see what Mansolino’s call was. I don’t ever remember seeing that play before.

    • TxBirdFan

      April 18, 2021 at 9:44 pm

      I have seats 10 rows up from the plate and we thought the 3B coach blew it as well. Mancini hit a sinking liner and the 3B coach needs to do a better job of communicating. Nice catch Orial.

  5. Bhoffman1

    April 18, 2021 at 8:55 pm

    I wish I could have seen the game today disappointed to hear about Francos lack of hustle no excuse. The guys got talent. I assume that’s why Philly and KC him go. Now Ruiz doesn’t have talent maybe for football where he was a quarterback but not as a ML hitter. I knew from just watching the pitches on my phone that Larkin would lose the game. He couldn’t throw strikes and would just lay one over the plate not to walk in the winning run. Now if I knew that from a phone why didn’t Hyde know that in person. Bottom line he should have been removed

    • jkneps63

      April 18, 2021 at 9:00 pm

      Oh for the love of…

    • TxBirdFan

      April 18, 2021 at 9:46 pm

      It was a beautifully pitched game except for Lakins who also threw a couple in the dirt.

    • TxBirdFan

      April 18, 2021 at 9:48 pm

      Cisco played pretty well defensively except for the WP’s. He had a great throw to nab Solik trying to steal 2nd. Cisco looked pretty sad at the plate though – fooled pretty badly a couple of times.

      • Orial

        April 18, 2021 at 10:02 pm

        Good word to use when describing Sisco–‘sad”. He has that persona. Very surprised he’s a catcher. Would love to hear him miked up to see what he sounds like and is made if.

      • NormOs

        April 19, 2021 at 4:16 pm

        Maybe he looks sad because he never plays 2 days in a row. We really can’t judge a kid who generally plays twice a week. Since there is no place to go but down, why doesn’t Genius1 just order his stooge to play Cisco for a month then make a judgement?

    • Bhoffman1

      April 18, 2021 at 10:19 pm

      Sisco has been fooled at the plate since most of last season and everyday of this spring and season so far. Hes not on this team for his defense. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I rather have Austin Wynns or just about anyone besides him at this moment and I was a big booster of him.

    • dlgruber1

      April 18, 2021 at 10:29 pm

      Bhoffman1 I, like you, had really high hopes for him but I’m afraid I have to agree. Even tho they wouldn’t get much of anything for him I’d like to see them trade him, use Wynns to platoon with Severino and let Ciuffo be the taxi squad catcher. I’m not saying that for the O’s any more than I’m saying it for Sisco. He might really find himself again if given an opportunity somewhere else. I’d love to see him succeed but I’m afraid it’s not gonna happen in Baltimore.

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