Orioles crushed by Rangers, 19-6

Orioles crushed by Rangers, 19-6
From left, Orioles players Aubrey Huff, Brian Roberts, Mark Hendrickson and Chad Moeller wait for manager Dave Trembley (far right) to remove Hendrickson from the game against the Texas Rangers. Hendrickson allowed nine runs (two earned) in 3 2/3 innings. (Getty Images)
Mark Hendrickson walked to the back of the mound and stared into center field. He called for a meeting with catcher Chad Moeller. He fidgeted with his cap and clutched the rosin bag.

It beat the alternative, which was throwing the ball to home plate to an extremely eager Texas Rangers lineup. On a day the Orioles badly needed a serviceable and extended effort from their starting pitcher, Hendrickson delivered neither, done in by faulty command and a sloppy defense behind him.

He was gone by the fourth inning, though the rest of the Orioles stuck around and absorbed a 19-6 drubbing, highlighted by Ian Kinsler's hitting for the cycle, before an announced 17,539 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

"This one just got away from us," manager Dave Trembley said. "We didn't pitch well enough and we didn't play well enough. Whatever we threw up there, they hit it."

Hendrickson's outing completed a brutal three-game series for Orioles starters, who compiled a 10.80 ERA in the three games and logged only 10 innings.

It also marked the third time this season in as many tries that the Orioles' bid for a series sweep barely gained traction. In those three games, the Orioles (6-3) have been outscored 41-11, and one of the common denominators has been a subpar effort from their starting pitchers.

In their 11-2 loss to the New York Yankees on April 9, Alfredo Simon allowed four earned runs in five innings. They were beaten 11-3 by the Tampa Bay Rays on April 12 in a game in which Adam Eaton allowed four earned runs and threw 100 pitches in four innings.

"I think it's coincidental," Trembley said. "But I'll take two of three every time."

Hendrickson surrendered nine runs in 3 2/3 innings, though only two were earned. Orioles shortstop Cesar Izturis booted what should have been the second out of the third inning, and second baseman Brian Roberts couldn't come up with Hank Blalock's grounder that would have been the third out of the frame. Instead, the Rangers scored three times in the third to take a 4-3 lead.

They then broke open the game in the fourth, sending 13 batters to the plate and scoring eight times. Roberts helped contribute to the mess with an errant throw on what should have been the inning's first out. But Hendrickson was anything but blameless.

He allowed seven hits and walked four batters and needed 95 pitches to get 11 outs. With Trembley giving him every chance to stick around and ease a little of the burden on a tired bullpen, Hendrickson needed 38 pitches to get out of the third inning and threw 29 more while managing to get just two outs in the fourth.

"You just got to make pitches. It's plain and simple," Hendrickson said. "I was working real hard out there. ... I was just battling out there, but it wasn't my night."

The Orioles' relievers didn't fare much better. Radhames Liz, who was recalled earlier in the day when Simon went on the disabled list, inherited Hendrickson's bases-loaded jam and watched his first pitch get slammed into the Rangers' bullpen by Nelson Cruz. That gave the Rangers a 10-3 lead.

Liz gave up two more runs in the inning and another in the fifth, increasing the spread to 13-3. The only drama left was whether the Orioles could avoid the humiliation of a second 30-3 loss to the Rangers in a 20-month span and whether Kinsler could complete the cycle.

He hit a double to left field in the first inning, a homer to left center in the third, a single to left in the fourth and a single to center in the fifth. Then in the sixth, Kinsler drove Brian Bass' pitch into the right-center field gap. He slid into third base without a throw, becoming the fourth Ranger to hit for the cycle. He added an RBI double in the eighth inning to finish 6-for-6, becoming the second Ranger to collect six hits in a game.

"It didn't matter what you threw to that guy," Orioles catcher Chad Moeller said. "He was going to hit it."