With the heart of their lineup humming and a strong start from left-hander Wade Miley, the Orioles jumped out to a big lead early and held on late to top the Texas Rangers, 10-6, Sunday at Globe Life Field.
The win earned them a series win and sent the Orioles into Monday's nonwaiver trade deadline at 50-54, 5.5 games out of a Wild Card playoff spot with 58 games to play.
Rookie Trey Mancini, who hit cleanup for the first time in his career after designated hitter Mark Trumbo was scratched after tweaking his back Sunday morning, had three hits and an RBI, while second baseman Jonathan Schoop added his club-high 24th home run and catcher Welington Castillo homered while tying a season-high with 4 RBIs.
Most of the Orioles' damage came in the fourth and fifth innings. In the fourth, five straight batters reached at one point in a four-run frame. An inning later, Schoop and Castillo homered to chase Rangers starter Martín Perez and expand the Orioles lead beyond reach.
"You're playing a day game here and the ball's flying, you need to keep adding on," manager Buck Showalter said. "We knew that they were going to make a run at us. … Very quietly,[Castillo] is hitting .280 with 10 home runs in not a whole lot of at-bats. That was a big home run. Any run we can scratch across against them — you need margin of error in this place against that team, against all major league teams."
Schoop added an RBI single in the sixth inning. He, third baseman Manny Machado, and Mancini all scored twice in the win.
Beltré belts 3,000: Play was briefly stopped in the fourth inning as both teams joined the announced 32,437 fans on hand to congratulate Rangers third baseman Adrián Beltré on his 3,000th career hit, which came on a fourth-inning double off Miley.
Beltré achieved the milestone in his fourth attempt of the series, and was greeted on the field by his teammates and family during a celebration that the Orioles were glad to take part in.
"As a fan of the game, what a career that guy has had," Miley said. "I wasn't trying to let him get a hit by any means, but at the same time, as a fan, if it had to happen, that guy is an unbelievable player. That's who you want your kids to watch. That's the kind of respect I have for him. It's a special moment for him, let him celebrate. However long they took, I felt like it went pretty quick. Congrats to that guy. He's been fun to watch for the last 19 years, and hopefully he keeps rapping out some more."
A win for Wade: Miley pitched five innings of two-run ball, walking just one and striking out five while allowing six hits, and improved to 5-9 on the season.
Miley didn't allow a hit until the third inning, and only really found trouble in the fourth, when a one-out walk and Beltré's historic double put two men on for second baseman Rougned Odor to drive home with a two-out single.
Two Rangers reached in Miley's fifth and final inning, but he stranded them. His ERA was down to 5.60 by day's end.
"Better overall," Miley said. "Still not great. I didn't throw a lot of strikes. Didn't get ahead of guys like I wanted to, but at the same time, I was able to make some pitches in key situations and we were able to score some runs. Obviously, that makes it a lot easier to pitch."
Showalter's assessment was rosier.
"I'll tell you, Miley was good," he said. "To pitch five innings and hold that club to two runs, it may not have always looked aesthetically pleasing but he never gave in and started just throwing. We needed all of our bullets today, but fortunately we were short enough with everybody that we'll have everybody back tomorrow."
Six different pitchers — Darren O'Day, Brad Brach, Miguel Castro, Donnie Hart, Mychal Givens, and Zach Britton — covered the remaining innings. O'Day, Castro, and Hart gave up home runs as the lead shrunk from 10-2 to 10-6.
Orioles pitching combined to strike out 14 batters, their most since April 30.
Good baserunning: Having five straight men reach in their four-run third certainly helped, but the onslaught was helped by good baserunning on every play. On Mancini's RBI single, Schoop went first-to-third so he could score easily on the ensuing single by first baseman Chris Davis. On that Davis single, Mancini did the same, and scored when Castillo rolled a ball into right field.
Both runners advanced on a long fly ball out to left field by left fielder Joey Rickard, making Tejada's forceout worth a run as well.
An inning later, Mancini again took an extra base on a Davis single before scoring on Castillo's home run.