O’s Already To Plan B In Buck’s Return To Texas
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Buck Showalter and the Baltimore Orioles are already having to go with Plan B in the manager’s return to Texas.
Alfredo Simon, who had slated as a possible starter in the second game of the series, was forced instead to throw 4 1-3 innings in the opener Monday night after Chris Jakubauskas lasted only 13 batters in a 13-4 loss to the Rangers.
“He didn’t have command and much crispness. He’s not a guy who’s going to overmatch with pure stuff,” Showalter said of Jakubauskas. “They centered up a lot of balls and you’re going to have some problems with those mistakes.”
The right-hander was done after he walked Josh Hamilton to start the third and Adrian Beltre followed with his 16th homer, a shot that just cleared the 14-foot wall in left for a 6-2 lead.
Simon then gave up six runs and nine hits.
The Orioles likely will call up right-hander Mitch Atkins from Triple-A Norfolk to make his first start in the majors Tuesday night. Atkins, 2-3 with a 3.11 ERA in eight starts for the Tides this season, made seven relief appearances for the Chicago Cubs in 2009 and 2010.
Mark Reynolds homered twice for Baltimore, giving him six in five games and 20 for the season. He also had a two-homer game Saturday in Atlanta.
Reynolds put the Orioles up 2-0 when he homered in the second after Vladimir Guerrero was hit by a pitch.
But Texas then scored four times off Jakubauskas (2-2) in the bottom of the second, when Michael Young had a leadoff single before scoring on David Murphy’s RBI single. Yorvit Torrealba followed with a double to deep center before No. 9 hitter Endy Chavez pulled a pitch 383 feet down the right-field line for two-run homer.
“It’s easy to jump on stuff when it’s right down Broadway, thigh high. I had a little trouble keeping the ball down. It’s frustrating because I felt good going in,” Jakubauskas said. “But I was missing in the wrong spot. This is the wrong park to be pitching at thigh level. The ball jumps out of here. This is probably the worst start I’ve had all year. I’m not happy with it, especially having to burn two guys out of the bullpen early.”
Jakubauskas is 1-5 with a 9.53 ERA in seven career road starts.
Young greeted Simon with a single and a few batters later Chavez had a two-run double for his first four-RBI game since June 10, 2003, while playing for Montreal at Seattle, to make it 8-2.
J.J. Hardy hit a solo shot in the seventh for the Orioles off Lewis (8-7) before Reynolds went deep again in the eighth, this time off Darren O’Day.
“I’ve been able to hit pitchers’ mistakes,” Reynolds said. “(The Rangers) are swinging the bats real well. We couldn’t quite keep up with them. We’ve got to match them hit for hit and run for run, and we didn’t tonight. … It’s tough, but at the same time, you’ve got to keep playing, no matter what the score is.”
Guerrero, who hit .300 with 29 homers and 115 RBIs in 152 games for Texas last season, was 0 for 1 while being hit by the pitch and walking twice.
“Mark had another big night, Vladdy was on base three times, but we were out of it pretty early,” Showalter said.
Lewis won his third straight decision over his last four starts, allowing three runs on a pair of homers over seven innings. The right-hander struck out four and walked three on the ninth anniversary of his first major league victory.
Showalter, who still has a house in the Dallas area where both of his children attend college, managed a game at Rangers Ballpark for the first time since he was fired in Texas after the 2006 season. His four years with the Rangers included a memorable 2004 season when they were in playoff contention until the final week of the regular season.
Just like the Yankees and Diamondbacks did after Showalter managed them, the Rangers made it to the World Series after he was gone. New York and Arizona won the World Series the very next season after he left, while Texas finally won its first AL pennant last year before losing the World Series in five games to San Francisco.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)