Adam Jones hit the tie breaking sacrifice fly for the Orioles, who eked out that lead from 2-1 to 3-1 to 5-1. All the while, the Rangers could muster nothing against Baltimore’s pitching staff; starter Joe Saunders was effective into the sixth inning.
Saunders got the better of US$107 million Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish, who was as stunned as any Ranger at their reversal of fortune.
“I don’t think we all thought that it would end this early,” Darvish said through a translator. “I mean, right now, no. I don’t even know what I’m supposed to do tomorrow.”
Texas did threaten in the bottom of the ninth, loading the bases with two outs, but David Murphy flew out to left field to end the game.
“With our team, it’s just a bunch of guys that raised the bar and wouldn’t give in and still haven’t,” Showalter said. “Now they get a chance to win to roll the dice, and there’s a lot of good card players in there.”
New York might have thought it had seen off Baltimore by finishing narrowly ahead in the AL East race, but now they’re back in a fight against a team they split 18 games with this season.