Rangers 4, Orioles 3
Orioles just don’t have enough
Shorthanded squad misses opportunity to win series
Short-handed and playing regulars out of position is no way for a team to break a six-week run without a series win.
The Orioles found that out Thursday with a 4-3 loss to the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park.
It was the fourth chance the Orioles had in their last four series to win the deciding game and take the series, having split the first two games. However, for the fourth straight time they lost the last one, dropping them to 19-43.
The last time the Orioles won a series was when they took two of three from the Chicago White Sox from April 22-24 at Camden Yards.
The decisive runs came in the fifth when, right after the Orioles tied the game 2-2 on a run-scoring single by Stevie Wilkerson.
Wilkerson was recalled just before the game to ensure the Orioles had a playable roster after DJ Stewart (ankle) went on the injured list with an ankle sprain and two others who left Wednesday’s game — Pedro Severino (head contusion) and Jonathan Villar (finger) — weren’t available to start.
Those absences, plus a sore foot for Trey Mancini that forced him to serve as the designated hitter, pushed Chris Davis to right field and Renato Núñez to first base. And with a runner on first and one out in the fifth, Delino DeShields hit the first ball in Davis’ direction all game. Davis over-ran the grounder as it went to the right of his glove, and a run scored while DeShields advanced to third.
Right-hander David Hess pitched into the seventh and allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits with a walk and two strikeouts, but was leading 1-0 on a first-inning home run by Mancini when Hunter Pence homered for Texas in a two-run second.
Another man down
The Orioles only had one reserve who was healthy Thursday — outfielder Keon Broxton — but they had to use him in the fifth inning, leaving manager Brandon Hyde with no bench options for the end of the game for a second consecutive night.
With two outs in the fourth inning, Dwight Smith Jr. ran hard into the left-field wall while catching a line drive from Rougned Odor, not even breaking his stride before his face hit the wall.
He was slow to get up, but made it back to the dugout and hit for himself in the fifth inning, grounding into a double play. Smith made it out to left field for the bottom of that inning, but removed himself from the game when he got out there.
No update was provided on his status.
Three hits for Mancini
A few foul balls and a hit-by-pitch on his left foot weren’t enough to keep Mancini out of the lineup, nor really keep him down. He singled twice after the home run to raise his average back to .306.