video thumbnail

BAL@TEX: Jones singles home McLouth for an early lead

ARLINGTON -- The Orioles have to a grind out another series now. It's all a part of playing games in August that matter.

Monday night was a tough night all around for the Orioles. After the first inning, they were shut down by the Rangers' Ryan Dempster, managing only four hits in a 5-1 loss to the American League West leaders.

The good thing is the Orioles know they can still win this series with two games left. They come into Texas after losing the first game to Detroit and rallying to win two weekend games -- including overcoming a 5-0 deficit Sunday -- to win a difficult road series.

"We're good," Orioles center fielder Adam Jones said. "In previous years, you would come in after a loss like this and it would be like a mortuary in here. It's just as crisp as it has been all year. We lost a game. We need to come out tomorrow with a better plan."

The Orioles couldn't get anything started against Dempster, a key Trade Deadline acquisition who had poor outings in two of his first three starts with his new team. Dempster was lights-out against the Orioles, locating his cutter down in the strike zone, a must in the hitting gallery that is Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

The Orioles scored in the top of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. Nate McLouth smacked a two-out double and scored on Jones' single to right field.

And that was basically it. Jones had a leadoff single in the top of the fourth and made it no further that second base -- he arrived there on a two-out wild pitch. Nick Markakis had a one-out single in the fifth, but Robert Andino and McLouth failed to get the ball out of the infield.

Dempster had six strikeouts, but it was more that he kept Orioles hitters off-balance and kept them from squaring up on his fastball and cutter.

"He has a track record of being a good pitcher," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He was a great addition for them. There weren't a lot of balls hit hard off him."

The Orioles' Miguel Gonzalez, Monday night's losing pitcher, is developing a solid track record. Showalter thought he was a victim of some tough breaks, and a tough bottom of the fourth against the Rangers.

"Miguel deserved a better fate," said Showalter, who later added on the entire game, "I'm going to dwell on the positive."

Leading, 1-0, Gonzalez couldn't stop the Rangers from dropping in a few bloops. He allowed three straight one-out singles in the fourth to David Murphy, Geovany Soto and Mitch Moreland -- two of which plated runs -- and a sacrifice fly to right field to Ian Kinsler as the Rangers took a 3-1 lead.

The Rangers added a run in the fifth on a Nelson Cruz RBI double. Gonzalez finished with five innings, issuing three walks and striking out two.

"Murphy got us the first one, and after that, things began to fall in our favor," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Cruz rips a double up the middle, how about Moreland beating out an infield single? Kinsler gets a sac fly. Everything that the game asked of us tonight, we executed. Some nights that's what it takes."

Gonzalez's critique of himself after the game went like this -- he said he can't get out Major League hitters with two pitches. He had a good fastball and slider, he said, but his splitter and curveball weren't there.

"It's a tough team, and with runners on base, any little thing leads to runs," Gonzalez said. "We just have to try to forget this last game and try to win the one tomorrow."

MLB.com Comments