On This Day: Rangers defeat Orioles 30-3 in game one of a doubleheader

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No, Nation. I promise you are not about to look at a box score of a game between the Cowboys and Ravens. On this day nine years ago, one of the more bizarre and without question the most prolific offensive explosion from any team in major league history. What seemed like just an average baseball game in late August between two struggling American League clubs turned out to be one of the stranger stories that season.

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The Rangers and Orioles played two in Camden Yards on this day in 2007. In Game 1, it was Texas coming away with a 30-3 victory…. that’s right 30. Not three, 30. Here’s how it looked.

1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH 5TH 6TH 7TH 8TH 9TH R H E
TEX 0 0 0 5 0 9 0 10 6 30 29 1
BAL 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 9 1

Where do we begin? The fact that Texas got all their runs in just four total innings and didn’t bother to spread it out? The fact that Texas set an American League record for most runs and hits in a single game? Or how about the fact that Baltimore actually opened up the game with a 3-0 lead? Sadly, all of that pales in comparison that a Rangers reliever — Wes Littleton — actually recorded a save in this game.

Here’s a look at the Texas box score from this August 22 game. You might notice some familiar names:

BATTER AB R H RBI BB K
Catalanotto, F. (1B) 6 2 3 2 2 1
Kinsler, I. (2B) 7 3 3 2 1 0
Young, M. (SS) 5 1 2 0 0 0
-Metcalf, T. (3B) 1 2 1 4 1 0
Byrd, M. (CF) 5 4 2 4 2 1
Botts, J. (DH) 7 2 3 2 0 4
Cruz, N. (RF) 7 2 2 0 0 2
Murphy, D. (LF) 7 5 5 2 0 1
Saltalamacchia, J. (C) 6 5 4 7 1 1
Vazquez, R. (3B-SS) 6 4 4 7 1 1

You see two current Tigers on this lineup card. Second baseman Ian Kinsler was just in his second big league season at the time after finishing 7th in the AL Rookie of the Year voting the season before. Kinsler finished the 2007 season hitting .263/.355/.441 with 20 HR and 61 RBI.

2007 was the debut season for once highly-touted catching prospect Jarrod Saltalamacchia. He was developed through the Braves farm system before being dealt at the trading deadline that season to Texas as part of a package in exchange for once-feared slugger Mark Teixeira. Salty clubbed two homers in this game alone and went on to hit .251/.290/.431 in 46 games with the Rangers that year.

Wanna watch all the scoring action? See for yourself.

Texas in that 30-3 dumptrucking of the Orioles were 18-for-25 with runners in scoring position. Oddly enough, the score could have been worse because the Rangers left eight men on base and struck out 11 times in the game. And out of the 29 hits, only eight of them went for extra bases — two doubles and six big flies.

Here is the pitching log for the Orioles’ staff in that game.

PITCHER IP H R ER BB K HR
Cabrera, D. (L, 9-13) 5 9 6 6 1 4 2
Burres, B. 0.2 8 8 8 1 1 1
Bell, R. 1.1 5 7 7 3 1 1
Shuey, P. 2 7 9 9 3 5 2

Oh yeah, and remember how we said Rangers reliever Wes Littleton ended up recording a save in the game? Well he was just one of two pitchers for Texas to appear in that game. Their starter Kason Gabbard pitched six innings and allowed three ER on seven hits. Littleton then came on and tossed three scoreless frames, allowing just two hits and a walk. One might ask, “How can you earn a save with a 27-run cushion? Well here are your three ways:

  1. He enters the game with a lead of no more than three runs and pitches for at least one inning
  2. He enters the game, regardless of the count, with the potential tying run either on base, at bat or on deck
  3. He pitches for at least three innings.

So there you have it, one of the more ridiculous games in major league history. Oh, and if it wasn’t bad enough for the Orioles, they ended up losing the back end of the doubleheader as well, but by a much small margin of 9-7.

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Posted by Alex Muller
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MSU Graduate. Just a city boy born and raised in south Detroit. Baseball is life, a pitcher at heart. Freelance writer for MIPrepZone (News-Herald, Press & Guide).