With their 6-4 loss to the Texas Rangers in today's series finale, the Orioles are now one loss away from clinching a 13th straight losing season. That stretch of futility is matched only by the Pittsburgh Pirates. They recently secured themselves of an 18th straight losing year.
The result was essentially a formality after Vladimir Guerrero's three-run homer in the fifth off Kevin Millwood gave the Rangers a 6-1 lead. Luke Scott cut into the deficit with a two-run homer in the sixth, the 100th of his career. Ty Wigginton then got the Orioles a little closer in the ninth with a solo homer off Neftali Felix. However, Feliz struck out the final three batters, including fanning Felix Pie with a fastball that was clocked at 100 miles an hour to end the game.
Josh Hamilton also hit a three-run homer off Millwood, who was beaten by his old team and is now 2-14 this season.
"They're pretty good," said Millwood. "They've got a pretty good track record. You've got to make good pitches to them. The ball Hamilton hit out and the ball Guerrero hit out weren't good pitches."
What also was troubling was the Orioles didn't make Rangers starter Tommy Hunter work very hard, an assertion that manager Buck Showalter did not dispute. Hunter had gone only three innings in three of his past four starts. However, he needed to throw only 46 pitches to get through the first five innings today.
Heading into the sixth, the most pitches he threw in any inning was an 11-pitch first.
"The last thing you want to do with a day like today heat-wise and day game was to give him some short innings, which he had. ... He didn't really have a tough inning for quite a while," Showalter said.