BALTIMORE — Over the past two nights, the Texas Rangers have held a clinic on staging the game-changing big inning. After piecing together a station-to-station six-run rally in Monday’s win over Baltimore, they used the home run to fuel a momentum-shifting four-run fifth Tuesday night as they sent the Orioles to an 8-4 loss at Camden Yards.
Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre, currently one of the hottest hitters in the game, drove in five runs and recorded his 25th career multihomer game with two against Orioles starter Zach Britton, including a three-run homer in the fifth.
The loss was the Orioles’ sixth in their past eight games. The Orioles (49-42) have lost 12 of their past 15 regular-season games against the Rangers.
Britton, who hadn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his previous four outings, allowed five on eight hits and three walks. In his six major league starts this season, he’s lasted at least six innings just twice.
Britton was optioned to Class AAA Norfolk after the game, as was Kevin Gausman, who allowed two runs in 12 / 3 innings of relief. The Orioles will announce corresponding moves Wednesday, one of which will be activating starter Wei-Yin Chen off the disabled list.
Beltre, who has 20 homers this season, entered the night hitless in three career at-bats against Britton (2-3), but he had three hits in as many at-bats against him.
“Just command,” Orioles Manager Buck Showalter said of Britton’s struggles. “He’s missing by quite a bit, especially against Beltre. You know he’s a good hitter, and then when you make bad pitches on top of them, he’s not going to miss them.”