Orioles 4, Rangers 3
Matos, batting .492 (31-for-63) in his last 16 games against Texas, drove in the go-ahead run with a double in the ninth inning to lift the Baltimore Orioles to their fourth straight victory, a 4-3 win over the Rangers on Tuesday night.
“We’ve been struggling hitting but we’re winning,” said Matos, who is hitting .432 (32-for-74) in his career against Texas, but was in a 2-for-24 overall slide when he came to bat in the ninth. “The pitchers, they’re doing their job and we step it up when we have to. That’s how you start winning a lot of games, when you get both together.”
“It was just time for somebody to step up and Luis did,” said Orioles interim manager Sam Perlozzo, who is 18-19 since taking over on Aug. 4. “He had been struggling a little bit so that’s a big hit for him. Hopefully that gets his confidence back.”
Wilson allowed one run and one hit in 1 1-3 innings.
Maine gave up Mench’s 25th homer in the second and Blalock’s 24th in the seventh, but held the rest of the Rangers hitless in his fifth major league start.
Maine, called up from Triple-A Ottawa on Aug. 13, struck out two and walked three.
“To take us into the seventh against an offensive club like (Texas), that was huge for John,” Perlozzo said.
Walter Young hit his first major league homer in his fifth game, a solo shot in the seventh that gave the Orioles a 3-1 lead.
R.A. Dickey, making his first major league start of the season and 29th of his career, allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings for Texas. Dickey struck out five and walked three in his big league debut as a knuckleballer.
“I was impressed,” Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. “I’ll take that every time out. That was a good starting spot. You didn’t see a lot of confident swings out there.”
Dickey switched to the knuckleball after coming down with right arm inflammation in April. When the sore arm improved, the 30-year-old right-hander began working on his knuckler at Triple-A Oklahoma, where he was 8-1 as a starter after going primarily with the pitch.
The first three batters Dickey faced reached base—singles by Bernie Castro and Melvin Mora and a walk to Miguel Tejada. Castro scored from third when Jay Gibbons hit into a double play, and Javy Lopez’s RBI single made it 2-0.
“It was a different atmosphere,” Dickey said. “Different wind, the balls are harder than Triple-A, so it took a little adaptation on the fly. I was pleased with the way I pitched but you always hate losing.”
Blalock’s homer extended the Rangers’ club record to 143 homers at Ameriquest Field. Texas, which leads the majors with 243 homers, is six short of matching the major league record for home runs in a home park set by the Colorado Rockies in 1996.
The American League record of 145 at home was established last season by the Chicago White Sox.
Maine has allowed three runs or less in each of his five starts. … Blalock had gone 35 games and 140 at-bats without a homer. … Rangers SS Michael Young committed his ninth error in 22 games. He made nine in his first 116 games. Young, the AL’s batting leader at .329, went 1-for-4. … Esteban German made his major league debut for Texas as a pinch runner in the ninth.