The Texas Rangers and the host Baltimore Orioles complete a four-game series Sunday afternoon that will feature the final meeting this season of two rookie-of-the year candidates.
Ryan Mountcastle (0-for-3, hit by pitch) of the Orioles and Adolis Garcia (0-for4) of the Rangers had quiet nights at the plate Saturday in Baltimore’s 3-2 victory.
The Orioles (50-105) have taken two of the first three games from the Rangers (56-99).
“We really aren’t going to decide this on this series,” Garcia said earlier this week. “I think it’s about the whole entire season. I’ve worked really hard, and I’m focused. (Mountcastle) is a really good player, and I wish him a lot of luck. But, at the end of the day, it’s about going out there and competing and trying to do whatever you can to help the team.”
Garcia did help his cause on Friday night going 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a steal of home in an 8-5 win by the Rangers. Mountcastle was 2-for-5 in that game.
At the end of the game Saturday, Garcia had 30 home runs and 85 RBIs with a .744 OPS, and Mountcastle had 31 homers and 84 RBIs with an .806 OPS.
Defensive play in the outfield also figures to help Garcia’s case.
He made a big throw against the New York Yankees on Wednesday night to record a spectacular out at home.
“I take a lot of pride in my defense,” Garcia said through a translator. “And my offense as well. It’s just whenever I feel like my offense isn’t as good, I take an extra step to make sure my defense is better. Whatever it takes to help out.”
Meanwhile Orioles center fielder Cedric Mullins served only as a pinch hitter on Saturday, going 0-for-1. On Friday, he became the first player in team history with 30 home runs and 30 steals in the same season.
“It’s crazy,” Mullins said. “I don’t even know if I’ve truly processed it yet, to be named the first Oriole to ever have a 30-30 season with the crazy amount of history that this team has, this organization has. To be able to claim that, to be the first one to do it, it’s awesome.”
“It’s cool to watch somebody be so consistent and so good for so long,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “To watch it night in night out, he is so professional, and he’s just really come into his own this year in so many ways, matured in so many ways.”
The Orioles will start left-hander John Means (6-7, 3.25 ERA) in the series finale.
He will be facing the Rangers for the second time this season. He did not factor in the decision after seven scoreless innings on April 18. He allowed three hits and two walks while striking out nine. He is 0-1, 1.37, in three career starts against Texas.
The Rangers will start right-hander Dane Dunning (5-9, 4.34) on Sunday. His one career outing against Baltimore was a start on April 17 when he pitched six scoreless innings, allowing five hits, but did not factor in the decision.
The Orioles recalled right-hander Spenser Watkins from Triple-A Norfolk and put right-hander Tyler Wells (right shoulder inflammation) on the injured list.
–Field Level Media