The Orioles’ 4-3 loss to the Texas Rangers on Monday night seemed to sting a little more than most defeats, not just because of all the obstacles their one-day trip to Texas included, but because they returned home knowing they left several scoring opportunities on the field.
They recorded 15 hits in Monday’s makeup of April 17th’s rainout at Globe Life Park, but the Orioles stranded 12 baserunners. They jumped on Rangers left-hander Derek Holland early, scoring three runs off him in the second inning, but couldn’t muster anything after that.
“It’s a tough loss,” said catcher Matt Wieters, who struck out with one out in the ninth inning and the tying run on third base. “We definitely had our chances to extend our lead and also come back there at the end. It’s a team loss today and we’ll take it like that and we’ll move on to tomorrow.”
Already leading 3-0, the Orioles loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the third, but were unable to score as shortstop J.J. Hardy struck out and left fielder Nolan Reimold hit into an inning-ending double play.
“We still had chances after that,” Wieters said. “You can’t put your finger on one play or one pitch or one at-bat. We had chances in the ninth inning. We had chances there with first and third, and like I said, it’s on all of us today and we have to get better and come out tomorrow and do better.
Playing down a man with third baseman Manny Machado serving the second game of his four-game suspension, the Orioles traveled just 20 players to the Metroplex, leaving the rest of the starting rotation and injured players back in Baltimore.
It was unlike any other travel the Orioles have had. The most comparable instance was their 2012 AL Wild Card win over the Rangers here at Globe Life Park, although even that game had off days on either side.
“Travelwise, probably not ideal, but it’s the reality of it,” said Mark Trumbo, who had two hits. “Come in here and we’re going to go back home, it makes for an interesting time. But there’s no excuses. I think everyone felt fine today. It just didn’t quite go our way.”
Still, the Orioles rapped hit after hit. Every Orioles starter had at least one hit, and the team’s two-through-seven batters each had two hits apiece.
The Orioles put the tying run at third with one out in the ninth inning against Rangers closer Sam Dyson when Chris Davis singled and moved to third on Trumbo's single.
But Wieters struck out on three pitches, swinging through a changeup, and Jonathan Schoop hit into a game-ending fielder’s choice ground out.
Gausman remains winless
Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman hasn’t pitched with a lead often, and he was unable to hold a 3-0 second-inning lead.
Gausman (0-5) remained winless through 12 starts. Coming off his shortest start of the season in his previous outing, Gausman lasted just one batter into the sixth inning, allowing four runs on 10 baserunners (nine hits and a walk).
“That’s the most frustrating thing,” Gausman said. “I feel like I haven’t really pitched with a lead very often this year and to get that early in the game, you have to be able to shut the door right there. This is one game, mano-a-mano, and for us to go up early against a good starting pitcher….I’ve got to be able to shut the door and not give it right back like I did.”
Gausman fell behind in a 36-pitch fourth inning that saw the Rangers score three runs.
He had allowed just three hits over his first three innings of work -- the only run against him over that stretch coming on Ian Desmond’s solo homer to center field -- but got himself into trouble after he loaded the bases with one out in the fourth.
No. 9 hitter Bobby Wilson worked a 10-pitch at bat against Gausman that ended with a sacrifice fly to center field, that cut the Orioles’ lead to one run. Three pitches later, Shin-Soo Choo laced a 2-1 hanging curveball off the right-field wall for a two-run single that gave the Rangers a 4-3 lead that stood.
Showalter said he felt Wilson’s at bat took its toll on Gausman.
“Of course,” Showalter said. “People miss so much with analytic stuff that it may look to some that the catcher didn’t have a productive night for them. … He had another [good] at bat later on even though he made an out. You can win at bats without getting a hit.”
Bundy helps out
Right-hander Dylan Bundy hadn’t pitched since last Wednesday in Texas -- and he was effective after four days off.
Bundy tossed three scoreless innings, retiring all nine batters he faced to mark his longest and strongest outing of the season. Bundy struck out three.
“Every time we give him four days, he’s really solid for us, and it bodes well for his future,” Showalter said. “I’m really pleased with where he is with a lot of things, not just the effectiveness but the innings, the health. This is a guy who pitched in Double-A last year.”
Bundy needed a fine defensive play from center fielder Adam Jones in the eighth inning. With two outs in the inning, Elvis Andrus hit a ball to the warning track that Jones made a running grab on before crashing into the fence.