The Baltimore Orioles have had trouble winning at most venues in recent years, and Arlington has been no exception.
The Orioles look to win a series in Texas for the first time in more than two years when they conclude their season series with the Rangers on Sunday.
Baltimore (66-88) has become a perennial loser, dropping at least 88 games in seven of its last eight seasons. The Orioles, though, beat the Rangers 11-9 on Saturday night in the third game of this series and a win in the finale would clinch their first series in Texas since taking two of three games from Sept. 12-14, 2005.
Since that series, Baltimore has dropped eight of 12 at Texas.
The Orioles’ Nick Markakis homered and had a career-high five RBIs, including the go-ahead two-run double in the eighth inning on Saturday. Wrapping up just his second year in the majors, the right fielder has five home runs and 17 RBIs in his last 14 games, and is batting .348 with five home runs, six doubles and 19 RBIs in 18 career games against the Rangers (71-84).
“For a guy who’s 23 years old, he doesn’t swing at many bad pitches,” Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. “He plays every day and gets big hits. To me, that’s a baseball player.”
Kevin Millwood (9-13, 5.39 ERA), who’s given up two earned runs or less in five of his last eight starts, will take the mound for Texas in the series finale. In his last outing, the right-hander surrendered four runs - two earned - and 10 hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 4-2 loss to Minnesota on Tuesday night.
Millwood earned a win against Baltimore on July 8, allowing one run and five hits in six innings as Texas won 2-1. He is 6-2 with a 3.88 ERA in nine starts against the Orioles.
Markakis is 3-for-12 with two RBIs against Millwood.
Baltimore will counter with Jon Leicester (2-2, 7.78 ERA), who is making only his fourth start since joining the rotation earlier this month.
The right-hander is 0-2 with a 14.04 ERA in five appearances—one start— on the road this season. Pitching in New York on Tuesday, Leicester gave up a season-high six runs and six hits in four innings of a 12-0 loss to the Yankees.
This will be his first appearance against the Rangers, who finally got their offense untracked after scoring three runs or less in each of its previous four games.
Ian Kinsler hit a three-run homer in the second, giving him 20 for season. He also stole his 22nd base in the first to become the sixth player in team history with 20 homers and steals in one season and the first since Alfonso Soriano in 2005.
The Rangers have won five of their nine games against the Orioles this year.