The Baltimore Orioles withstood a potential emotional letdown in their first game since the trade of a popular teammate.
Now they’ll see if they have any added spunk after getting through a rather gut-wrenching day.
“Very tough day,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “I had no idea how we were going to respond.”
That came about following Monday’s trade of Trey Mancini, a veteran player for the Orioles. He was dealt to the Houston Astros.
The Orioles happen to be in the Lone Star State, where they take on the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night in Arlington, Texas.
In Monday night’s series opener, the Orioles struck early in what became a 7-2 decision over the Rangers.
“We’ll see what happens,” Hyde said. “The short term (was good).”
The Rangers will try to get back on track in just their second home game since the All-Star break. They didn’t respond well Monday, scoring only on solo home runs from Corey Seager and Nick Solak.
Mancini appeared in more than 700 games for the Orioles and became an inspiration by overcoming cancer. So naturally, there were touching moments leading to Monday’s game.
For now, Yusniel Diaz took Mancini’s spot on the Baltimore roster, though he didn’t play in the first game of the series.
Instead, it was a notable outing for Orioles left fielder Terrin Vavra, who notched his first big-league hit with an infield single in the second inning.
The Rangers sent relief pitcher Matt Bush going to the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday, so the trade deadline is impacting the emotions in both clubhouses.
“Matt has been through a lot in this organization,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “This guy is fully committed to what he has done the past couple of years. I’m really, really proud of where he has come.”
Bush was busy collecting his belongings and exchanging well-wishes with now-former teammates in the Rangers clubhouse following Monday’s game.
“Just bittersweet moment,” Bush said. “It’s really hard to say good-bye here. This has been home to me for quite a while.”
So which side shows up with the better focus might be in the best position for Tuesday’s middle contest of the three-game series.
The Orioles turn to right-hander Jordan Lyles (7-8, 4.56 ERA), who went 3-1 in six July starts. He threw 5 2/3 shutout innings last week against Tampa Bay despite issuing a season-high four walks.
Lyles owns a 1-6 record with a 6.89 ERA in 11 career appearances (nine starts) versus the Rangers.
Texas has right-hander Spencer Howard (2-2, 5.93) slated to start on Tuesday.
Howard is 2-1 in his last four outings since a no-decision on July 5 when he allowed four runs in four innings at Baltimore. His only other career outing against the Orioles was a similar situation last September when he gave up four runs in four innings in a road game. He received a no-decision in both encounters.
Baltimore is 4-0 against the Rangers this season, though the three victories in early July all came by one run. Two of those results were in 10-inning tussles.
–Field Level Media