John Butcher held Baltimore to one hit, Al Bumbry's third-inning single, and Buddy Bell homered as the Texas Rangers defeated the Orioles, 2-0, tonight.
The loss ended a three-game winning streak for the Orioles, but was the eighth Baltimore loss in 11 games. The Orioles remained in first place in the AL East but only by percentage points over the Milwaukee Brewers.
Butcher (4-3) retired the final 19 batters he faced. Butcher, normally a middle-inning reliever, was making only his second start of the season after Danny Darwin was sidelined with an infected blister on his pitching hand. It was Butcher's second lifetime shutout.
"I can't take that pitch back," said Butcher. "Bumbry hit a fast ball right down the chute." Butcher pitched the seventh one-hitter in Ranger history.
Bumbry's single followed Butcher's only walk of the game, to Lenn Sakata, who went to third base. Butcher got Dan Ford on a fly ball to center field to end the inning.
Those were the only hitters to reach base off Butcher, who last won a game as a starter on Aug. 14, 1982. Butcher struck out two.
After starting only his second game of the season, Butcher said, "I was just happy for the opportunity. Baltimore hit some of my pitches hard, and we made a lot of great defensive plays. I'll take the one-hitter."
He also said he was surprised he went the full nine innings. "I really didn't know whether I could go that far," Butcher said. "I thought I might last six or seven innings, and I really got tired in the eighth."
Bell hit his 12th homer of the season, off Allan Ramirez (4-4) with one out in the first inning. Ramirez went six innings, then the Rangers nicked Tippy Martinez for a run in the seventh on Billy Sample's double and Pete O'Brien's single.