ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—Rafael Palmeiro has waited patiently for a breakout game.
“I’ve probably been pressing a little bit,” Palmeiro said. “But I feel good now and I’m seeing the ball well.”
Palmeiro had a two-run blast in the first and an RBI single in the fifth that put Texas ahead 4-3. It was Palmeiro’s first homer since hitting his 500th on May 11, a span of 27 at-bats.
“Raffy picked up the slack for us,” Texas manager Buck Showalter said. “He had the big hits for us.”
He just missed another home run on his single in the fifth. The ball hit the top of the wall in right field, but Showalter came out to argue contending it should have been ruled a homer.
After a brief meeting, the umpires determined the ball hit just below the yellow line.
“I missed it by 2 inches.” Palmeiro said.
Ismael Valdes (4-2) picked up his second consecutive win since coming off the disabled list. He gave up three runs and 10 hits, all singles, in six innings.
“It wasn’t my best game,” Valdes said. “But I battled and made the right adjustments to keep my team in the game.”
He has saved six games during Texas’ winning streak.
“It will reach a point where we’ll have to give (Urbina) a day off,” Showalter said. “I’ll have to bite the bullet because Urbina’s won’t want it.”
The Rangers are on their longest winning streak since winning eight straight June 19-25 last season.
Texas trailed 3-2 entering the fifth. But Michael Young tied the score when he led off with a homer off Pat Hentgen. Young, who came into the game third in AL in batting average, had three hits to raise his average to .343.
After Young’s fourth homer, Everett and Blalock had consecutive singles before Palmeiro gave the Rangers the lead for good.
Hentgen (1-1) allowed four runs and 10 hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked two while throwing a season-high 116 pitches.
“I made some mistakes, there’s no doubt about it,” said Hentgen, who picked up his first win last Sunday since undergoing elbow surgery in 2001. “You can’t leave pitches out over the fat part of the plate to these guys.”
Texas, who came into the game leading the majors in home runs, hit two more and has 77 on the season.
Ruben Sierra had an RBI double in the seventh to extend Texas’ lead to 5-3.
Baltimore strung together four consecutive singles off Valdes with two outs in the second to take a 3-2 lead. Brian Roberts had a run-scoring single to tie the score, and Melvin Mora put the Orioles ahead with an RBI single.
Baltimore opened the scoring with a run in the first when Roberts scored on Jeff Conine’s sacrifice fly.
Roberts, Mora, and Luis Matos each had two hits for the Orioles. Matos wascalled up from Triple-A Ottawa earlier in the day.
George P. Bush, nephew of President Bush and son of Florida governor Jeb Bush, threw out the first pitch. … Showalter celebrated his 47th birthday Friday. … Baltimore’s David Segui is 4-of-34 over his past nine games. … OF Doug Glanville was 0-for-2 in his first rehab game for Triple-A Oklahoma on Friday. He had surgery April 23 to remove a piece of torn hamstring tendon frombehind his right knee.