Mark Trumbo might have been the only member of the Orioles’ traveling party that wasn’t happy to get out of Texas on Sunday.
He had a very memorable series that included his 1,000th career hit and enough other big hits to make the four-game series one of his best offensive stretches since he pounded his way to the major league home run crown for the Orioles in 2016.
And he saved the best for last so he could fully enjoy his two-homer, five-RBI performance in the Orioles’ 9-6 sweep-busting victory over the Rangers before an announced 19,961 that really was a small fraction of that number on a hot afternoon.
Trumbo obviously didn’t mind the heat. He homered and drove in three runs in Thursday night’s series opener and got the milestone hit Saturday night, but he couldn’t get too pumped up about any of that because the Orioles lost the first three games of the series.
“I think we did some really nice things this series,” he 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.”
For the series, he went 7-for-16 with three homers, four runs and nine RBIs, but was replaced late in the game by Adam Jones because of knee soreness that has bothered him since he returned from a quadriceps injury early in the season.
Sunday’s game featured a breakout performance by the offense that included four home runs and 11 hits. It allowed the club to weather another very rocky performance out of the starting rotation.
Rookie pitcher Yefry Ramírez lasted just 1 2/3 innings and needed 69 pitches to get those five outs. The Orioles gave him the lead in the first inning on an RBI single by Trumbo, but he allowed two runs in the bottom of that inning.
The Orioles gave him a two-run lead in the second inning when reserve catcher Austin Wynns hit a towering three-run home run off newly signed Rangers starter Drew Hutchison. But again, Ramírez could not hold back the Rangers, who batted around in the bottom of the inning to retake the lead.
"Unfortunately, I wasn't able to command the strike zone today,’’ Ramirez said through interpreter Ramon Alarcon, “and when you're unable to command the strike zone, bad things happen throughout the game."
The bullpen had been taking a beating over the past week, too, but the Orioles relievers that followed Ramírez to the mound held things together and Trumbo and Co. built a comfortable lead.
Tanner Scott, Donnie Hart, Miguel Castro, Paul Fry and Mychal Givens combined to pitch the remaining 7 1/3 innings in grand fashion. They gave up just one hit and struck out 12 before Givens recorded his second career save.
"We were swinging the bats, we scored runs, our bullpen did really well putting zeroes on the board,’’ said Scott, who was credited with the victory. “Everyone that threw, threw really well, and that was big."
Trumbo finally gave the Orioles the lead for good with a two-run homer in the third inning and tacked on two insurance runs with his 15th homer of the year in the seventh.
Ramírez allowed five earned runs and blew up his ERA, which rose from 4.59 to 5.66. It was the second 1 2/3-inning performance of the series, which earlier featured Andrew Cashner’s ugly 10-run outing in the 17-8 fiasco on Thursday night.