Markakis leads Orioles past Rangers for fourth straight victory


Adam Jones singles home a run in the first inning for Baltimore, which went on post a 6-5 road victory over the Texas Rangers. The Orioles have won four games in a row. (Sharon Ellman/Associated Press)
June 5

Despite the best efforts of Texas Rangers slugger Adrian Beltre, who seems to be a thorn in the side of the Orioles every time the teams meet, the Baltimore Orioles emerged from Wednesday’s back-and-forth game with their fourth straight win.

The Orioles’ 6-5 victory over the Rangers earned a series win here in Texas and guaranteed that they would complete their three-city, 10-game road trip with at least a .500 record.

The Orioles (30-27) have scored 27 runs with 50 hits over their last four games. In the first two games here in Texas, they have scored 14 runs with 30 hits, outlasting the Rangers in the later innings both nights. They had 13 hits Wednesday.

The first four hitters in the Orioles lineup were 9-for-18, led by leadoff hitter Nick Markakis, who was 2-for-3 with a homer and two walks and drove in the game-winning run.

Markakis’s two-out RBI single in the sixth off left-handed reliever Aaron Poreda broke a 5-5 tie and was the edge in a game that also included four homers and its share of defensive and base-running miscues on a muggy Texas night.

Beltre hit two homers and drove in five runs, giving him nine homers and 18 RBI over his last 10 games against the Orioles. It was his third five-RBI game in that span.

Beltre’s three-run homer off right-hander Bud Norris tied the game at 5 in the fifth inning and sparked life into the announced crowd of 27,934 at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Beltre also hit a two-run homer off Norris in the first inning.

The game-tying homer came right after Mitch Moreland’s comebacker hit Norris on the right forearm. After Manager Buck Showalter and head athletic trainer Richie Bancells ran to the mound to check on Norris, he remained in the game after three warm-up pitches.

Norris then delivered a high-and-outside 1-2 fastball that Beltre swatted into the Rangers bullpen to tie the score at 5.

Norris (4-5) left the game after that inning with a right forearm contusion after 99 pitches. The five runs he allowed tied a season-high, and his five innings matched his season-low, both occurring in his first start of the season on April 5 in Detroit.

The Orioles bullpen held the Rangers scoreless over the final four innings.

Despite allowing two hits in the ninth, Baltimore closer Zach Britton converted his fifth save in six opportunities with a scoreless inning.

Elvis Andrus pushed a bunt toward second base for a single, but Shin-Soo Choo hit the first pitch he saw to shortstop J.J. Hardy for a 6-4-3 double play.

Britton then allowed a looping single to right field by Luis Sardinas, but struck out pinch-hitter Michael Choice on three pitches to end the game.

With the score tied at 5, Baltimore had four hits and drew a walk in the sixth but only scored one run.

The Orioles had two on and no outs after Jonathan Schoop opened the inning with a single and David Lough drew a walk. But Caleb Joseph dropped a bunt that Rangers pitcher Nick Martinez (1-2) scooped up and threw to third to get Schoop, the lead runner.

Lough was then thrown out attempting to steal third base, but Markakis was able to single home Joseph despite the Rangers going to a lefty-against-lefty matchup with Poreda. Manny Machado and Nelson Cruz followed with back-to-back singles to load the bases, but Adam Jones grounded into a force out to end the inning.

Markakis opened the third inning with a homer on a first-pitch delivery from Martinez, turning on a 90-mph fastball and sending it into the right-field stands for his fourth homer of the season to tie the game at 2.

Machado followed with a double down the left-field line, and Cruz reached on a throwing error by Sardinas at shortstop.

Jones then singled up the middle to drive home Machado, giving the Orioles a 3-2 lead. After Chris Davis drew a walk to load the bases, J.J. Hardy’s sacrifice fly to right scored Cruz to give the club a two-run cushion.

Davis blasted his eighth homer of the season in the fifth inning, a towering solo shot to right with two outs, putting the Orioles up 5-2.

The top of the first inning was kept alive when Sardinas dropped a high popup, allowing Cruz — who was running hard with two outs — to take second. Jones then singled up the middle to score Cruz and give the Orioles an early 1-0 lead.

Norris struggled through a 28-pitch first inning, hitting the first batter he faced, Shin-Soo Choo. Davis then made a nice play at first to start a 3-6-3 double play that seemingly would get Norris out of the inning.

It didn’t. He issued a full-count walk to Moreland, and Beltre took a 1-0 pitch from Norris the opposite way into the right-field seats for a two-run homer to put Texas (29-30) up, 2-1.

— Baltimore Sun

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