John Grubb hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning tonight, to send the Texas Rangers to only their sixth victory in the last month, a 5-3 decision over the Baltimore Orioles.
Jon Matlack, who entered the game with a 2.51 earned run average despite not having picked up a victory all year, was the beneficiary.
Matlack (1-2) lasted 5 2/3 innings, giving up six hits and three runs, before Steve Comer and Paul Mirabella came on to preserve the victory. Mirabella, who retired all eight batters he faced, earned his first save of the season.
A single by Mike Richardt and double by Buddy Bell accounted for a Texas run in the first and, after falling behind by a run, the Rangers tied it in the fourth on Lamar Johnson's double and Doug Flynn's single.
Bell led off the fifth with a walk off loser Dennis Martinez (4-4) and with one out Grubb homered. The slicing line drive struck the foul pole just over the 330-foot sign down the left field line.
It not only was Grubb's first homer of the season, it was his first run scored. "I knew it had been a long time since I had scored," Grubb said, "but I didn't know it had been that long. That's pitiful."
Texas added a run in the sixth on singles by Leon Roberts and Richardt around a sacrifice bunt by Flynn.
Baltimore took a 2-1 lead in the second on singles by Benny Ayala, Dan Ford, Ken Singleton and Rick Dempsey. Back-to-back doubles in the sixth by Ayala and Ford brought the Orioles their third run.
Baltimore's Gary Roenicke was struck on the left wrist by a Matlack fast ball in the first inning and he left after four innings. He suffered a bruise.