ARLINGTON, TEXAS — Orioles starter Andrew Cashner could have been forgiven for cursing the fates and his lack of run support any number of times this year, but not Thursday night.
He came back to Globe Life Park after delivering one of his better seasons with the Rangers last year and found his old teammates decidedly short on sentimentality.
The Rangers lit him up, scoring 10 runs in the first two innings of an ugly 17-8 victory over the Orioles before an announced 19,637.
The 17 runs were the most scored against the O’s this season, eclipsing the previous high of 15 by the Kansas City Royals on May 8. That’s right, the biggest single-game offensive performances against the last-place Orioles were achieved by the other two last-place teams in the American League.
Cashner (3-10) had given up three runs or fewer in 15 of his 20 starts this season and had only once allowed more than five runs in a game. He had surrendered just three earned runs in his previous 11 2/3 innings. Things were starting to look up when he won last week for the first time since May 21.
Obviously, the Rangers were not impressed. They answered a first-inning run by the Orioles with a three-run homer by Jurickson Profar in the bottom of the first, then piled on Cashner in a seven-run second. He gave way to reliever Donnie Hart after getting only five outs.
The double-digit drubbing raised his ERA from 4.33 to 5.05.
“I don’t think I located all that well,’’ Cashner said. “It was really a battle on my front side getting over and finishing my pitches. I didn’t really finish any of them. Just a lot of mistakes down the middle.”
It didn’t stop there, of course. The Rangers also scored in the third and the fourth in a game that featured some interesting offensive performances.
Rougned Odor walked in each of the first four innings, then homered his fifth time up before tying a club record with his fifth walk of the game. Elvis Andrus didn’t leave the building, but he hit safely in each of the first three innings. Seven of the nine Rangers starters had an extra-base hit by the sixth inning.
“We knew they were swinging the bats well and doing well offensively coming in,’’ manager Buck Showalter said. “He [Cashner] wasn’t the only one. We scored a lot of runs, enough to win, but you know it’s a hitter-friendly place and they’ve got good hitters.”
The Orioles, facing former teammate Yovani Gallardo, took a couple of big swings. Mark Trumbo, who drove in the first run of the game with an RBI groundout, hit his 13th homer of the year in the fifth inning, and Caleb Joseph hit his third home run in the sixth. Trey Mancini connected for his 15th in the ninth. All were two-run shots.
Gallardo clearly has been pitching in better luck than Cashner. He gave up five runs on nine hits over 5 1/3 innings and raised his ERA to a lofty 6.51, but improved his record to 6-1.
New O’s second baseman Jonathan Villar started his first game as an Oriole in the leadoff spot and singled in his first at-bat. He also singled in the sixth and hit the ball hard in two other at-bats.
The Orioles were reduced to putting infielder Danny Valencia on the mound in the eighth inning. He became the first Orioles position player to pitch in game since Ryan Flaherty faced the Houston Astros on Aug. 20, 2016.
Valencia faced Joey Gallo with two outs and struck him out looking with a 91 mph fastball that had Gallo in the face of plate umpire Bruce Dreckman.