The Baltimore Orioles were just one game into their season-high 10-game winning streak last month when they recorded three one-run victories, two in extra innings, over the visiting Texas Rangers.
The Orioles look to continue that run of success versus the Rangers on Monday when the teams open a three-game series in Arlington, Texas.
Anthony Santander collected a pair of two-hit performances in the previous set against the Rangers. He enters Monday’s series opener riding an 11-game hitting streak, during which he is hitting .395 (17-for-43) with four homers, 10 RBIs and eight runs.
Santander belted a solo homer to highlight his three-hit day in Baltimore’s 3-2 setback to the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday. The loss was the second in a row for the Orioles, who went 3-for-21 with runners in scoring position in the series.
“We’re not scoring,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said. “You have to be able to score and to be able to get a lead and add on. We’re just not doing enough offensively, honestly, to help out our pitching. We have to do a better job to push some runs across and get better at-bats.”
Orioles right-hander Spenser Watkins (3-1, 4.03 ERA) hopes to be the beneficiary of a better offense when he takes the mound on Monday night.
Watkins, 29, walked away with a no-decision on Tuesday after allowing three runs on 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings against the Tampa Bay Rays.
He won his lone career start versus Texas on July 6, however, after permitting one run on four hits in a career-high 6 2/3 innings in a 2-1 victory.
“Anytime you can push yourself is a fantastic feeling,” Watkins said after that start. “I’m more grateful about getting the opportunity to give the team a chance to win. I wanted to hold the ball as long as I could and eat as many innings as I possibly could.”
The Rangers return home after an 11-game road trip following the All-Star break. Texas had lost five of its first seven games before winning for the third time in its last four with a 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.
Ezequiel Duran belted a three-run double in the ninth inning to fuel the Rangers.
“Obviously we had some ups and downs on the road trip,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said. “To win a series — especially a four-game series — and the way we did it, I liked the way our team fought to the end.”
The Rangers will hand the ball to right-hander Jon Gray (7-5, 3.62) on Monday.
Gray, 30, saw his three-start winning streak come to a halt on Wednesday after yielding four runs on five hits in 6 1/3 innings of a 4-2 setback at the Seattle Mariners. The big blow was a three-run homer in the seventh inning by rookie Julio Rodriguez. The blast ended Gray’s day.
Gray won his lone career start against Baltimore while pitching for the Colorado Rockies. He allowed one run on five hits in seven innings in that contest on July 27, 2016.
Nathaniel Lowe extended his hitting streak to seven games with an RBI single in the first inning on Sunday.
Lowe went 5-for-12 with one homer, four RBIs and three runs during the previous series against Baltimore.
–Field Level Media