As much as Dave Trembley is honored and excited to be returning as Orioles manager next season -- news that became official yesterday and brought tears to his eyes -- there will be nights when he'd prefer a 14-hour bus ride in the minors, broken air conditioning and all.
In Game 1 of yesterday's doubleheader, the Orioles were battered by a team that kept batting around. They surrendered six home runs, two of them grand slams, and a club-record 29 hits. They also gave up the most runs scored in the majors since 1900, historic indiscretions that punctuated a 30-3 loss to the Texas Rangers before a sparse but wildly entertained gathering at Camden Yards.
And through it all, Trembley sat in the dugout with his lips pressed tightly together and an icy glare in his eyes -- when he wasn't walking to the mound to make another pitching change.
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"You need to have a real short memory," Trembley said, "and you let it go."
Then you play a second game, with fresh wounds.
The Orioles also lost the nightcap, 9-7, when Jim Hoey permitted three runs in the eighth. Jay Payton and Nick Markakis homered in the third, after the Rangers took a 3-0 lead against rookie Garrett Olson, who allowed six runs in five innings. Payton also had a two-run single in the seventh.
"The one thing you hope is they have blisters from the first game," said the Orioles' Kevin Millar. "I've never seen 30. Thank God they don't get two wins for the one game."
Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the prized acquisition in the Mark Teixeira trade with the Atlanta Braves, homered twice, singled twice and drove in seven runs in the opener. No. 9 hitter Ramon Vazquez, batting .229 when the day began, had two three-run homers and an RBI single. Marlon Byrd and Travis Metcalf hit grand slams. David Murphy had five hits, two of them in the eighth inning.
Metcalf tied a franchise record with eight RBIs in a doubleheader, and the Rangers set an American League record with 39 runs in a doubleheader.
The Rangers did all their Game 1 scoring in four innings, sending nine men to the plate in the fourth, 14 in the sixth, 13 in the eighth and 10 in the ninth. And Trembley couldn't stop the bleeding.
"It's been a long day today," he said. "Whatever we threw, they hit it. They say hitting's contagious and that certainly was the case in the first game. I've never seen anything like it."
Daniel Cabrera (9-13) allowed six runs and nine hits in five-plus innings. Brian Burres was charged with eight runs and eight hits in two-thirds of an inning. Rob Bell allowed seven runs and five hits, with three walks, in 1 1/3 innings. Paul Shuey surrendered nine runs and seven hits, with three walks, in two innings.
There's no exaggerating how long it has been since baseball has seen this kind of offensive display. The 30 runs scored are the fourth most in major league history. The Chicago Colts (now the Cubs) defeated the Louisville Royals, 36-7, in 1897. No American League team has surpassed the Rangers' output, with the Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox totaling 29 in 1950 and 1955, respectively.
To put the game in further perspective: Erik Bedard has allowed 31 runs in his past 17 starts. The Orioles gave up 30 over nine innings.
They actually took a 3-0 lead against Rangers starter Kason Gabbard, scoring once in the first and twice in the third. But Cabrera allowed five runs in the fourth after loading the bases on two infield hits -- including a potential double-play grounder from Jason Botts that shortstop Miguel Tejada couldn't handle to his backhand side -- and a walk.
The home clubhouse was closed between games, leaving a terse Trembley as the lone spokesman. He didn't meet with his players. "There's nothing that needs to be said," Trembley said.
The Orioles' previous record for most hits allowed was 26 against the Chicago White Sox in 1981. They most runs they surrendered before yesterday were 26 against the Rangers in April 1996 -- a game that included shortstop Manny Alexander's debut as a pitcher. It was the largest margin of defeat in team history.
The Rangers became only the second team in 50 years to have four players total four or more RBIs in the same game. They also set a club record for most runs in a doubleheader before Game 2 started.
But at least Millar extended his streak of reaching base safely to 49 games, tying Ken Singleton's Orioles record.
The day wasn't a total loss.
Every time Shuey struck out a batter in the eighth, the ovation that greeted him was dripping with enough sarcasm to require a tarp. The game had moved to the surreal. And it hardly lacked in entertainment value.
"You start to feel bad for the guys on their team," Byrd said. "Shuey came in and he pitched his heart out. I don't know. We just kept putting it in the right spot."
By the eighth inning, Freddie Bynum had gone to left field and Tike Redman took over in center. In the ninth, Bynum replaced Tejada at shortstop, Millar switched to left, Ramon Hernandez made his first appearance at first base and designated hitter J.R. House moved behind the plate.
The Rangers, meanwhile, made only one substitution in the field, with Metcalf replacing Michael Young at shortstop.
"Everyone was up there trying to get hits, regardless," Byrd said. "It's a pride thing. You're going up there, you're trying to get on base, you're still trying to score. But you can't believe it keeps on happening"
Asked how demoralizing it must be to surrender 30 runs, Byrd said, "I don't even want to imagine."
Game 1 facts
The 30 runs were the most ever allowed by the Orioles.
The 29 hits were a Rangers record and the most the Orioles have ever allowed.
The 27-run margin represented the largest margin of defeat in Orioles history.
Orioles relievers allowed 20 hits and 24 earned runs (72.00 ERA) in three innings.
The Rangers hit two grand slams for only the second time in club history.
Texas tied a club record with 10 hits in the sixth inning.