O's forecast calls for more offense

Forecast calls for offense

ARLINGTON -- The weather forecast is one thing, but the baseball thermometer is another. The Orioles and Rangers will likely call for more offense on Tuesday, when they rely on the most impressive elements of their respective games. Manager Dave Trembley lauded his offense Monday night, moments after his team snuck by with a 10-9 win.

"I've been on the other side of the coin as people well know against these guys," said Trembley, showing due deference to the Rangers. "Their offense is pretty good. They have three guys at the top of the lineup that are pretty good too. When you have opportunities to score, you have to score. You have to put them up in bunches. It's good to score runs after they score. What we needed to do was put zeros up after they score."

Zeros were hard to come by in the series opener, and the Orioles spent the last few innings clinging to the barest of margins. Baltimore set a season-high in hits (16) and tied one in runs, but most of the offense came in the first five innings. The Orioles went quietly down the stretch, allowing Texas to make things interesting.

Still, Baltimore had several offensive heroes Monday night. Aubrey Huff, for instance, had four hits in the first five innings and is batting .346 for the season. Leadoff man Brian Roberts had three hits and is hitting .414 through seven games. Right fielder Nick Markakis is hitting .370 and playing Gold Glove-caliber defense.

And when it gets down to it, Trembley is most satisfied with his team's total effort.

"We have our own plan at the plate," Trembley said. "I give the players a lot of credit. I give [hitting coach Terry Crowley] a lot of credit for making sure it gets done. But the other big thing that we're starting to do which maybe goes unnoticed to the naked eye, we're running the bases very well.

"We're going first-to-third, second-to-home. Those kinds of things are really important because they put the pitcher in a situation because you're either forced to pitch to the guy, pitch around the guy, maybe take his put-away pitch away from him. We're playing very unselfish baseball as far as I'm concerned up at the plate."

Pitching matchup
BAL: RHP Alfredo Simon (0-1, 7.20 ERA)
Simon pitched three shutout innings in his season debut, but then he allowed a pair of home runs in the fourth that turned the game around. The right-hander mostly used his fastball in that game after his off-speed pitches deserted him. Trembley said that Simon can get by with his fastball, but only when he's able to keep it down in the strike zone. Simon will be tested in his next start against the Rangers in one of the league's toughest offensive environments.

TEX: RHP Brandon McCarthy (1-0, 5.40 ERA)
McCarthy is pitching again, that's the big thing. He wasn't his sharpest in his season-opening start Thursday against Cleveland, but he did get the win, allowing three runs in five innings. He threw 105 pitches, a big improvement over his last start, Sept. 15, 2008, against Detroit. His slider got him through a tough-hitting Indians lineup. His fastball will have to better against the Orioles. McCarthy had seven strikeouts against Cleveland -- he credited his slider -- but he had four walks and a hit batter.

Bird bites
The Orioles have won their series opener in each of their first three series and can win their third straight series with a victory in either of the next two games. ... Baltimore scored five times in an inning Monday night for the third time in the young season. ... The Orioles haven't beaten Texas in a season series since 2004. ... Since the Rangers' home stadium opened in 1994, Baltimore has allowed an average of 5.83 runs per game there.

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Up next
• Wednesday: Orioles (Mark Hendrickson, 1-0, 1.69) at Rangers (Kris Benson, 0-1, 12.60), 8:05 p.m. ET
• Thursday: Off-day
• Friday: Orioles (Jeremy Guthrie, 2-0, 2.25) at Red Sox (Brad Penny, 1-0, 4.50), 7:10 p.m. ET

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.