Disagreement with umpire doesn't rattle Wandy
BALTIMORE -- Wandy Rodriguez not only ran into a little trouble with the Orioles' offense in the fifth inning of the Rangers' 8-1 win on Monday night, but also with home-plate umpire John Hirschbeck.
After giving up back-to-back singles, Rodriguez walked Nolan Reimold to load the bases with one out, but did not like the call on ball four, throwing up his hands in disgust. Hirschbeck ripped off his mask and began yelling back at Rodriguez before Rangers manager Jeff Banister came out to calm him down.
The 36-year-old left-hander was able to rebound and get the Rangers out of the inning giving up just one run.
"The situation, the ball was very close," Rodriguez said. "I didn't say anything bad. I said, 'Oh my God.' He didn't like it. I told him, 'I see the ball was very close.'"
Rodriguez gave up an RBI single to Adam Jones in the next at-bat, but responded by striking out Chris Davis after falling behind in the count, and then getting Delmon Young to fly out to right to end the inning.
"I had him 2-0 or 2-1. The pitch was very very bad," Rodriguez said of striking out Davis. "It was in the dirt and far away from home plate and he swung. I think his mentality was looking for a fastball."
The lefty finished with five-plus innings, allowing eight hits, one run and two walks while striking out seven. This outing comes on the heels of one of Rodriguez's worst starts this season, in which gave up a season-high 11 hits and eight runs in a four-inning loss to Oakland -- his shortest performance of the year.
The lefty improved to 5-0 on the road this season, boasting a 2.24 ERA in eight starts away from Globe Life Park. He's tied for the third-longest season-opening road win streak in club history. Kevin Millwood had the previous streak in 2006.
Rodriguez could have easily left Monday's game with a blemish, as it seemed the Orioles' offense was starting to catch fire, but the veteran said he was able to throw his best pitches of the night with the bases loaded -- something that impressed, but did not surprise, his manager.
"Sometimes he can let his emotions get the best of him. I felt like he calmed down, refocused and got back to work," Banister said. "You have those things inside games, and more than anything else, the ability to redirect his emotions and to get refocused into not letting that moment overwhelm him is a testament to who he is and the veteran pitcher he is."