Bullpen collapses in twin-bill opener
Orioles' relief corps surrenders 24 runs in loss
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles had their feel-good afternoon dented in the first half of their doubleheader on Wednesday, when the Rangers steamed ahead to steal the stage from manager Dave Trembley. Baltimore's pitching staff notched a season-high total for runs allowed in an inning twice and also set a new franchise record for runs allowed in a 30-3 loss.
The 30 runs allowed was the most allowed in American League history and the most in the Majors since 1897. Seven of Texas' starters scored more than once, and four different players -- Ramon Vazquez, Jarrod Salatalamacchia, Marlon Byrd and Travis Metcalf -- drove in at least four runs. Salatalamacchia and David Murphy both scored five times.
"You have to have a real short memory and you let it go," Trembley said after the rout.
Before the game, Trembley was named manager for next year, which gave the Orioles (58-66) a jolt of adrenaline. That extra energy resulted in an early three-run lead for Daniel Cabrera, but it quickly went awry. Texas scored five times in the fourth inning -- keyed by a three-run home run by Vazquez -- and nine more times in the sixth to ice the game.
Cabrera (9-13) wore all of the fifth-inning damage, but came out of the sixth after allowing Saltalamacchia's first homer. Southpaw reliever Brian Burres wound up giving up eight runs, and Byrd provided half of that output with a grand slam. The Rangers (55-70) managed to tie a franchise record by notching 10 hits in their nine-run outburst.
The Rangers actually set a team record for runs in a doubleheader with just their first-game output alone.
"It just happened," said manager Ron Washington. "We were on the good side of it. I'm just happy our offense came alive."
Texas loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth inning and scored 10 more times to set a new Baltimore high for runs allowed in an inning. Travis Metcalf hit a grand slam in the later rally, and Saltalamacchia came back for a three-run blast of his own. Texas scored six more times in the ninth, and Vazquez drilled a second homer in that rally.
Brian Roberts scored two of Baltimore's three runs, but the Orioles never really threatened after the third inning. Texas starter Kason Gabbard (6-1) took all of the run support and made it stand up for an easy victory. Baltimore had previously allowed six runs in an inning once, and the team had also given up 13 runs in a game on two separate occasions.
When asked if he was concerned about his bullpen's readiness for the second game, Trembley issued a pithy quote.
"We're going to have to shut them down early in the game," he said.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.