After quiet series, Moreland, Rangers power up
BALTIMORE -- The Rangers entered the series opener against Baltimore having lost seven of their last eight games, scoring an average of 2.9 runs per game over that span. On Monday, Texas surpassed that average with home runs alone.
The Rangers tied a season high with four homers en route to an 8-1 victory over the Orioles to push the team back to one game over .500.
"For the most part we were able to kind of create some opportunities," Mitch Moreland said. "It felt like every inning we had something going on."
The power surge follows a series in which the Rangers scored a combined eight runs and hit four homers in three games with the Blue Jays.
The Texas bats have been struggling -- going 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position in Sunday's finale in Toronto -- but Moreland got the home run train started in the second inning with a solo shot to right, which was originally ruled a base-hit. After a one-minute, 44-second crew-chief review, the call was overturned.
Carlos Corporan, who entered the game hitting .188, logged the team's second homer on a 1-2 pitch an inning later, and Moreland picked up his sixth multi-homer game of his career with a long ball in the fourth.
Shin-Soo Choo made it four consecutive innings with a home run in the fifth with his ninth homer of the season. Orioles starter Bud Norris said all the long balls came on offspeed pitches, three on curveballs and one on a changeup.
"The production up and down the lineup was special tonight and something that we needed coming off a game where we were 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "They put together some really nice at-bats and came away with an 8-1 victory. Very nice to see."
No more home runs were hit following the fifth inning, but Joey Gallo was able to pick up his first career triple with a liner into the right-field corner, and Adrian Beltre collected his third hit of the night with a double in the ninth inning.
The offensive production was a rarity for the Rangers based on their recent struggles, but Moreland's production came as no surprise. He has been one of Texas' most consistent hitters, and has now hit safely in 19 of his last 22 games, batting .315 in that span and .300 overall after going 2-for-5 with two home runs, three RBIs and two runs scored on Monday.
The Rangers are now 10-1 in games that Moreland has hit a home run.
"Mitch is a guy that really liked to tinker with his own swing," Banister said. "Made subtle changes along the way when he wasn't having success. What I think, if anybody has been stubborn with their approach all year long, Mitch has been that guy. He has been rewarded to this point with his success. Any time you can stay with your approach, it's going to give you consistency."