ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—So far, so good, in Sam Perlozzo’s two games as interim manager of the Baltimore Orioles.
The Orioles lost eight straight before Lee Mazzilli was fired as manager Thursday, and then won their series finale against Los Angeles in Perlozzo’s debut after being promoted from bench coach.
“I saw some real signs of life that I hadn’t been seeing,” Perlozzo said. “We ran the bases well, we hit and pitched well, and we caught some breaks.”
Perlozzo wants the Orioles to finish strong, which would set him up for serious consideration to get the job for next season.
“I think if we can get the team to play better baseball for the rest of the season, then I have a shot at staying,” Perlozzo said. “It’s as simple as that. I feel the team needs to respond in some way. It’s a better chance than I’ve had in all my career so I’m thankful for that.”
Orioles slugger Sammy Sosa said the players have confidence in Perlozzo.
“He’s been our coach, now he’s our skipper,” Sosa said. “It’s not like he’s a new guy from the outside. We’ve gone through some tough times. Now we’re coming back.”
Baltimore’s Luis Matos had three hits and is 11-for-19 against Texas this season. Roberts also had three hits.
Staked to a 10-0 lead in the fourth inning, Bruce Chen (8-6) took advantage and snapped a personal streak of five straight winless starts. He kept the Rangers offbalance with an effective breaking pitch while spotting his fastball.
Chen gave up two runs and five hits in six innings, striking out four and walking three.
“To get the lead early was a key,” Chen said. “They are very good hitting the fastball so I had to mix my pitches and keep the ball down.”
Mark DeRosa homered in the ninth for Texas’ final run.
The Orioles took a 2-0 lead on Matos’ infield single in the second. With runners on second and third and two outs, Matos hit a weak grounder to shortstop Michael Young. Sosa scored from third and Chris Gomez followed from second when Young, charging the ball, unsuccessfully tried to make a barehanded pickup.
Perlozzo praised Gomez’s aggressive baserunning.
“That’s the kind of thing I like to see,” Perlozzo said. “That’s the kind of guy I am. That’s the way to play the game.”
Baltimore followed with a six-run third against rookie starter C.J. Wilson (0-4).
The Orioles got one run on B.J. Surhoff’s sacrifice fly, then padded the lead to 6-0 on Gibbons’ three-run homer, his 16th.
Matos doubled and Roberts followed with a two-run homer, his 17th, to make it 8-0 and knock out Wilson, who allowed eight runs and nine hits over 2 2-3 innings.
“I let things steamroll a little in the third,” Wilson said.
In the fourth, Tejada singled off James Baldwin and Texas left fielder Kevin Mench lost Surhoff’s fly ball in the lights as it fell in for a double. Sosa followed with a two-run single for a 10-0 lead.
Teixeira ended Chen’s shutout bid with his leadoff homer in the sixth, and Blalock added a bases empty shot later in the inning.
Soriano’s two-run blast in the eighth off Jason Grimsley made it 10-4.
Rangers LHP Kenny Rogers will have a hearing before an arbitrator on Monday in Chicago as he attempts to get his 20-game suspension for accosting two cameramen reduced. If Rogers has the suspension cut down, he could start next Tuesday or Wednesday. … The Rangers had been undecided about Saturday’s starter, and manager Buck Showalter waited until after Friday night’s game to announce that RHP John Wasdin will get the call. … With Texas RF Richard Hidalgo out due to a bruised left hand, Mark DeRosa made his first start of the season in right. Hidalgo is expected to be placed on the DL. … RHP Steve Karsay made his Rangers debut in the eighth. Karsay’s contract was purchased from minor league Frisco on Thursday. … Roberts had 12 homers in his first three major league seasons.