Orioles welcome in Rangers as both look to the future
The Texas Rangers will visit Baltimore for the only time this season and start a four-game series with the Orioles at Camden Yards beginning Thursday night as both teams are trying to finish tough seasons on a good note.
Texas comes to Baltimore after dropping two of three to the Yankees in New York, the last being a 4-1 loss on Wednesday night. The Yankees handed the Rangers a 10-1 defeat in the previous game.
The Rangers will try to snap out of their mini-skid against the Orioles with Kolby Allard (3-0, 4.33) starting against Baltimore ace John Means (10-9, 3.55). Allard has won his last two starts, striking out 12 in 12 innings.
He came to Texas from Atlanta just before the trading deadline. Allard has never faced the Orioles in his brief career.
For Means, this will be his second start versus the Rangers. He has no record and a 1.50 ERA versus Texas after his one appearance earlier this season, a start where the left-hander received a no-decision.
Means has pitched well in his last three starts, coming out of a brief slump after he made the All-Star Game. He worked with the Baltimore coaches to correct a mechanical flaw and now has won two straight also, like Allard.
The Rangers are dealing with some injury issues. Nomar Mazara was activated from the injured list this past Sunday (strained left oblique) yet was not in the starting lineup Wednesday for a second consecutive contest.
"He was a little sore," Rangers manager Chris Woodward told MLB.com on Wednesday. "After his first game, he was a little bit sore. So, we were planning on keeping him out yesterday, and obviously today, possibly tomorrow. Just let it get back to feeling OK ... because I don't want him to have a setback, where it's like a significant setback where he missed the rest of the year."
Also dealing with soreness is pitcher Brock Burke, who's penciled in as the starter Friday at Baltimore, according to MLB.com. Woodward said they'll keep an eye on him to see if he's ready to go.
MLB.com also reported that Joey Gallo (broken right hamate bone, surgery) did some hitting Tuesday and Wednesday in New York. There was no news on when Gallo may be back.
The Orioles did not make any new moves or call-ups on their day off Wednesday but The Baltimore Sun reported that sources said prospects Ryan Mountcastle and Austin Hays won't be called up this month.
Mark Trumbo has made it back after missing the entire season while recovering from knee surgery after getting hurt late in 2018.
Trumbo returned to the lineup while the Orioles were losing two of three to the Rays earlier this week. He went 2-for-5, playing in two games, one as a pinch-hitter. His contract runs out at the end of this season.
"Nice to see Mark get some at-bats ... and it was awesome to have him in there," Orioles manager Brandon Hyde told MLB.com earlier this week.
The Baltimore offense has gotten plenty of help from Hanser Alberto, Anthony Santander and Jonathan Villar in the past several days. Alberto is batting .448 in his past seven games, continuing to feast on left-handed pitching.
Santander has a .357 average over his past seven games with four homers and nine RBI. He's blossomed into a solid middle-of-the-lineup hitter for Baltimore as well as a strong outfielder.
Villar also is hitting .357 during the last seven games he's played in, and he's stolen five bases during that time. In fact, he stole second, third and home in one game at Kansas City last Friday during a 14-2 Baltimore rout.
--Field Level Media
Updated September 4, 2019