ARLINGTON, Tex. –- Manny Machado was livid. He screamed at home plate umpire David Rackley, pleading with him to ask for help on a checked swing that ended the game.
Rackley called Machado out, and the frustration of losing for the ninth time in 10 games got to him. Machado screamed at Rackley while manager Buck Showalter rushed out to get between the two.
The game was over.
The Orioles left the tying run at third, and the go-ahead run at first, as Machado struck out.
A 4-3 Orioles loss to the Texas Rangers before 29.768 at Globe Life Park ended angrily.
“You’ve got to ask there, situation of the game. Changes the whole at-bat, but just we ask them. You’ve got to check. You’ve got to check on that,” Machado said.
“It’s just part of the game. We’ve lost one-run games. Don’t get me wrong. We’re playing against teams that are great, teams that are battling, teams that hopefully are going to be in the playoffs. I mean, it’s not easy. We’re just one hit away, one out away.”
The Orioles entered the ninth trailing by a run against Texas closer Shawn Tolleson. Jonathan Schoop singled and took second on Caleb Joseph’s infield out. Dariel Alvarez walked, and Ryan Flaherty hit into a fielder’s choice.
With Schoop at third and Flaherty at first, Machado was quickly angered by Tolleson’s first pitch, called a strike, but one that Showalter said was “four inches off the plate.”
The count was 1-2, and Machado tried to hold up.
“I think it’s just an overall thing. There’s a lot going on. There’s frustration, I mean, that at-bat, winning run on first, tying run on third. You want to get ahead in that situation. We want to take that into the next inning or give us an opportunity to do something that we needed to do. It’s not something that they’re just starting to do. They’ve done it for a long time, but you’ve got to check. That’s all we ask. A nice little check. See what happens,” Machado said.
Ubaldo Jimenez allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings to the Rangers, and the Orioles (63-66) have lost five of six games on the road trip and nine of 10 overall.
It wasn’t just Machado’s call that annoyed Showalter.
“We’ve got too many other things that happened in that game that we could have done to make it not matter,” Showalter said.
Fortunately for the Orioles, their road trip ends on Sunday. That may be one of the few positives they can find.
In each of the nine games, they’ve scored three runs or fewer, and have now dropped three games under .500 for the first time since July 24. Their 66 losses equal last year’s total.
Texas scored three in the third on an RBI double by Shin-Soo Choo and a two-run homer by Adrian Beltre.
Martin Perez retired the first 11 Orioles until Adam Jones singled with two outs in the fourth.
The Orioles tied the score at 3 in the top of the fifth.
Steve Pearce led off with a home run to left, his ninth of the season. With one out, Joseph singled and Alvarez sent him to third with his first major league hit, a double. Paul Janish’s fly to right scored Joseph, and Alvarez came home on Machado’s RBI single.
It was the first three-run inning for the Orioles (63-66) since Aug. 21 when they scored three against Minnesota in the sixth.
Jimenez (9-9) allowed a two-out triple to Elvis Andrus. After Will Venable was walked intentionally, Mychal Givens allowed a double to Bobby Wilson, giving Texas (67-61) the lead.
It was the fourth straight time Jimenez didn’t finish six innings.
Perez (2-3) allowed three runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Machado’s strikeout gave Tolleson his 28th save.
If the Orioles are going to somehow make a playoff run, they’ve got to start quickly.
“We had a good run earlier this year and then we followed it right with a bad run. We still have one more month of baseball. And it’s got to start tomorrow. We’ve got to turn this thing around. And we know we are capable of doing it. I think we’ve got the right guys for it,” Pearce said.
Machado is remaining positive, too.
“I mean, I got faith in this team, and we all trust each other that we’re going to get where we need to get to. We’re not worried about this,” Machado said. “I think we’re just one good game away from starting a nice streak, and going where we need to go,” Machado said.
The Orioles clubhouse was somber after the game, and that’s understandable.
“Frustrated. They are frustrated. So, there’s one way to take that frustration away,” Showalter said.