Orioles manager Brandon Hyde didn’t see his team shrinking in the moment, though. They played hard and pitched well, but the bats just didn’t come through when the O’s needed them most.
“No, I thought we got beat 3-2,” Hyde said. “I thought they pitched well. We couldn’t create enough stuff offensively. We threw the ball well. I thought the environment was unbelievable. It was really loud early in the game, to start the game. Thank you fans for showing up. That was a special environment for our guys to play in. We just got beat.”
The Rangers struck out 16 times, so this wasn’t their finest hour as an offense, either. They managed to string together eight hits and three doubles, though, which was enough in a game that was well pitched with both clubs using six arms. Texas had one of baseball’s best lineups all season, led by the duo of Corey Seager and Marcus Semien — who seem destined for a pair of top-five finishes in AL MVP voting — but it was a pair of rookies in Josh Jung and Evan Carter who stole the show on Saturday.
“Right now, a win is a win no matter what it looks like,” Carter said. “It’s a big one to come in on the road, first game and get that. It’s good for the club. It’s good going forward. We keep the pedal to the metal going tomorrow.”
When is the game and how can I watch it?
First pitch is set for 4:07 p.m. ET/3:07 p.m. CT on Sunday, and it will be televised in the U.S. on FS1.
All series are available in the U.S. on MLB.TV with authentication to a participating Pay TV provider. Games are available live internationally (except in Canada). Full game archives will be available approximately 90 minutes after the game ends.
Who are the starting pitchers?
Rangers: LHP Jordan Montgomery
Montgomery is coming off a gem in Game 1 of the AL Wild Card Series, when he tossed seven scoreless innings in a win over Tampa Bay. The lefty has been the Rangers’ most consistent pitcher since joining the club at the Trade Deadline, posting a 2.79 ERA over 11 regular-season starts with Texas. Prior to his outing against the Rays, he only had 6 2/3 innings of postseason experience, but he’s proven that he can compete on the biggest stages while putting the Rangers in a position to win.
Orioles: RHP Grayson Rodriguez
The 23-year-old right-hander will continue a memorable rookie season by making his postseason debut. A 2018 first-round Draft pick who entered the year as Baltimore’s top pitching prospect, Rodriguez had a breakout second half, pitching to a 2.58 ERA over his final 13 outings. During a challenging first half — in which he recorded a 7.35 ERA over 10 starts before getting sent down to Triple-A Norfolk — Rodriguez faced Texas twice. He made his big league debut at Globe Life Field on April 5, allowing two runs in five innings. On May 26 at Camden Yards, he yielded nine runs (eight earned) in 3 1/3 innings, then got optioned the next day.
What are the starting lineups?
Rangers: The Texas lineup looks a bit different from Game 1 as Mitch Garver is getting the start at DH and batting third instead of Robbie Grossman:
Orioles: Facing a left-hander for the second straight day, Baltimore is trotting out a similar lineup to Game 1. One change is Jorge Mateo is getting a start, as the 28-year-old shortstop’s speed could help to jump-start an offense that scored only two runs on five hits in Game 1. Adley Rutschman is also hitting leadoff in Game 2 after batting in the two-hole in Game 1:
How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Rangers: Bochy used more relievers in Game 1 of the ALDS than he did in the two games against Tampa Bay combined: Dane Dunning, Will Smith, Josh Sborz, Aroldis Chapman and José Leclerc. Chapman has struggled pitching on back-to-back days, as has Leclerc, so both could be unavailable for Game 2. Dunning went multiple innings and will likely not be used as well.
That leaves Brock Burke, Matt Bush and Chris Stratton as options tomorrow, with Martín Pérez and Cody Bradford as potential long relief options if needed.
Orioles: In Game 1, Baltimore used five relievers, but the team had five days off between the end of the regular season and the start of the ALDS, so many of them should be available again in Game 2. Expect to see All-Star right-hander Yennier Cano in a potential momentum-shifting spot late, as he didn’t pitch in the series opener.
Rangers: The Rangers’ new and improved rotation has been decimated by injuries all season, with Jacob deGrom (right elbow), Max Scherzer (right shoulder) and Jon Gray (right forearm) all on the IL heading into the postseason. Gray is unlikely to return before a possible ALCS, and Scherzer threw to live batters on Friday for the first time since a Sept. 12 start against the Blue Jays. Scherzer didn’t make the initial ALDS roster, but he could be an option down the line if Texas advances.
Thankfully, Texas’ group of All-Stars — Seager, Eovaldi, Adolis García, Jung and Jonah Heim — all have returned from injuries they dealt with earlier in the season. The Rangers hope their potent lineup can help cancel out the lack of rotation arms.
Reliever Jonathan Hernández was left off the ALDS roster due to a right lat strain, an injury that Bochy said was sustained during Game 162, when Hernández tossed one perfect inning with two strikeouts in Texas’ 1-0 loss to Seattle. It’s unclear whether he’ll be available after the ALDS.
Orioles: Right-hander Félix Bautista is scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery later this month and is expected to be sidelined until the start of the 2025 campaign. It’s a big loss for Baltimore, which also navigated the final five weeks of the regular season without its All-Star closer.
The rest of the Orioles’ roster is healthy.
Who’s hot, who’s not?
Rangers: Rookies Carter and Jung have continued to carry the Rangers’ offense this postseason, with four extra-base hits each in the three games. Center fielder Leody Taveras is also hitting the quietest .333 in baseball, while Seager is doing what Seager does with a .455/.600/.727 line this postseason.
Leadoff hitter Semien has just one hit and one walk in three postseason games and hasn’t yet been able to translate his regular-season production to the October stage.
Orioles: Santander swung a hot bat late in the regular season, and that carried over into ALDS Game 1, when he went 2-for-3, reached base three times, scored a pair of runs and belted a homer in the first postseason game of his career. Rodriguez also has positive momentum heading into the playoffs, as the righty has a 1.80 ERA over his previous six outings.
Ryan O’Hearn went 0-for-23 to end the regular season, and he struck out looking as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning of Game 1. He’ll start on the bench again in Game 2 with a lefty on the mound. Mullins, who closed the regular season on a 2-for-36 skid, went 0-for-3 in the ALDS opener.