The way the first 24 hours in Baltimore went, it appeared that the Rangers’ early season good fortunes might fade away on the road. Friday’s game was rained out, and the first game of Saturday’s double-header with the Orioles was an ugly 5-0 loss in Zach Britton’s second major league start.
The Rangers followed Game 2’s 13-1 shellacking with a shutout of their own on Sunday, a 3-0 win highlighted by a two-run Ian Kinsler home run (his fourth) and six shutout innings by starter Derek Holland. Staked to an early 1-0 lead by Adrian Beltre’s third home run of the season, Holland had to throw 110 pitches and get out of a few jams, but he showed good stuff again and made key pitches.
Darren Oliver pitched a clean seventh after the score moved to 3-0, but Darren O’Day ran into trouble in the eighth. He recorded quick outs against Derrek Lee and Vladimir Guerrero, but he walked Mark Reynolds and Adam Jones – who hitters who are typically difficult to walk – before he gave way to Neftali Feliz with the tying run at the plate. Pinch hitter Luke Scott gave the Rangers a scare with a deep line drive to center, but Julio Borbon ran it down to end the threat. Feliz threw an uneventful ninth for his third save of the season.
Texas now heads to Detroit for three noon starts before ending the road trip with a weekend set in New York. Alexi Ogando will receive the assignment opposite Justin Verlander Monday.