BALTIMORE (AP) — Five runs in the fourth inning. Nine runs in the sixth. Ten in the eighth. Six more in the ninth.
The Texas Rangers rounded the bases at a dizzying pace and became the first team in 110 years to score 30 runs in a game, setting an American League record Wednesday in a 30-3 rout of the Baltimore Orioles.
“This is something freaky. You won’t see anything like this again for a long, long time. I am glad I was on this end of it,” said Marlon Byrd, who hit one of two Texas grand slams.
Trailing 3-0 in the opener of a doubleheader, Texas couldn’t be stopped. At last, the last-place Rangers did something right.
“We set a record for something on the good side of baseball,” manager Ron Washington said.
It was the ninth time a major league team scored 30 runs, the first since the Chicago Colts set the major league mark in a 36-7 rout of Louisville in a National League game on June 28, 1897, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
“It was AMAZING in capital letters,” said Travis Metcalf, who hit a grand slam after being called up from Triple-A Oklahoma earlier in the day.
Hours after announcing manager Dave Trembley would return for the 2008 season, the Orioles absorbed the most lopsided loss in franchise history and set a team record for hits allowed in a game (29).
The Rangers had totaled 28 runs in their previous nine games, including two runs on seven hits in their last two.
“I knew we’d get the bats going, but I never expected anything like this,” Washington said. “When the faucet is on, you want it to stay on. You never want to cut it off.”
The Rangers set a team record for runs scored in a doubleheader — before the second game even started.
“You don’t want to be the one to make the out. You feel like you have to get a hit every time up,” Byrd said.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ramon Vazquez, the bottom two batters in Texas’ lineup, each homered twice and finished with seven RBIs.
“That was ridiculous. I have never been in anything like that in my life,” said Saltalamacchia, who went 4-for-6 with a walk and scored five runs. He came in batting .179 and finished at .262.
David Murphy had five of the Rangers’ 29 hits, the most by a major league team since Milwaukee had 31 in a 22-2 victory over Toronto on Aug. 28, 1992, according to Elias.
Texas had 57 at-bats, tying the AL record for a nine-inning game set by Milwaukee in its 1992 rout of Toronto.
The Rangers added five points to their team batting average, raising it to .258. They finished with more runs than outs made (27).
Baltimore went from seventh in the AL with a 4.39 ERA to 11th at 4.60.
Asked how to handle such a devastating defeat, Trembley replied, “You have a real short memory and you let it go.”
Kason Gabbard (6-1) allowed three runs and seven hits over six innings. He is 2-1 in six starts since Texas acquired him from Boston on July 31.
Even with the one-sided score, there was a save. Wes Littleton earned his second career save and first this season by pitching three scoreless innings.
Texas erased a 3-0 deficit by batting around in a five-run fourth. A walk to Byrd and an infield hit by Jason Botts preceded a two-run single by Saltalamacchia. After a visit from pitching coach Leo Mazzone, Daniel Cabrera (9-13) gave up a go-ahead, three-run homer to Vazquez.
Texas made it 14-3 by scoring nine runs on 10 hits in the sixth. The 10 hits matched a club record for one inning and were three more than the Rangers totaled in their previous two games.
Cabrera left after serving up a home run to Saltalamacchia. Brian Burres yielded two singles and a walk before Byrd hit his third career slam. Saltalamacchia, Vazquez, Frank Catalanotto and Ian Kinsler added RBI singles.
Texas got seven hits in the eighth. Metcalf hit his first career slam and Saltalamacchia added a three-run shot.
Vazquez’s second homer highlighted a six-run ninth.
Editor’s Note: The second game of the Texas Rangers-Baltimore Orioles doubleheader had not concluded at press time Wednesday.