Orioles 7, Rangers 4, 10 innings

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—LaTroy Hawkins faced one of the best clutch hitters in the majors, and came through for the Baltimore Orioles.

Hawkins pitched two innings of scoreless relief and Miguel Tejada had four hits as the Orioles used a three-run 10th inning to beat the Texas Rangers 7-4 on Wednesday night.

Hawkins (3-2) gave up two hits and threw a wild pitch in the ninth, but retired Michael Young on a flyout to keep the game tied at 4 with runners on second and third and two outs. Young began the night batting .390 with runners in scoring position, tied for second in the AL.

“I’ve been pretty good in those situations, too,” Hawkins said. “No doubt he’s a good hitter. I was able to get him to swing at my pitch.”

Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo was confident Hawkins could work out of the jam, having already used closer Chris Ray.

“He did a good job,” Perlozzo said. “There’ve been some struggles, but when he’s on, he’s tough to hit.”

The frustrations continue to mount for the Rangers, who have lost six of nine to fall 9 1/2 games behind the AL West-leading Oakland Athletics.

“We know our chances are slim,” Young said. “We know we have to win every game. We had chances to win it but they made pitches and we didn’t get it done.”

Jay Gibbons hit a go-ahead RBI double to spark Baltimore’s rally in the 10th, and Nick Markakis homered for the Orioles.

Markakis has nine homers in August, setting a club record for homers in a month by a rookie.

With the game tied at 4 in the 10th, Melvin Mora hit a leadoff single and Tejada singled one out later off Ron Mahay (1-2) to put runners on first and second. Gibbons followed with his double into the right-field corner, making it 5-4.

After Kevin Millar was intentionally walked, Tejada scored from third on David Newhan’s single. Danny Ardoin, signed as the backup catcher before the game, stretched Baltimore’s lead to 7-4 with an RBI single off Rick Bauer.

“This is about as good as we’ve been playing all year,” Gibbons said. “It’s been a frustrating season and it would have been easy to lay down. But we don’t want to lay down. We want to finish strong.”

Gerald Laird went 3-for-4 with a homer, Gary Matthews Jr. also went 3-for-4, and Mark Teixeira homered for the Rangers.

Orioles starter Kris Benson pitched seven strong innings, allowing two runs and five hits, and handed a 4-2 lead to his bullpen. But the Rangers rallied to tie it at 4 with a two-run eighth.

Todd Williams began the eighth for the Orioles and the Rangers got leadoff singles from Laird and Matthews to put runners on first and third.

Laird scored on Williams’ wild pitch, and Matthews moved to second. Matthews went to third on Young’s flyout, and Sam Perlozzo brought in Ray, who struck out Teixeira. Carlos Lee followed with a tying double.

Texas starter Robinson Tejeda, in his eighth start for the Rangers, struggled from the outset, throwing 78 pitches in three innings and allowing four runs in the first.

Brian Roberts led off the game with a walk in a 12-pitch at bat and Markakis hit his 13th homer into the Rangers’ bullpen in right-center one out later.

The Orioles stretched their lead to 4-0 later in the first on Newhan’s RBI single and Ramon Hernandez’s sacrifice fly.

Teixeira’s 23rd homer in the first and Laird’s seventh homer in the third— both solo shots—pulled Texas within 4-2.


Hernandez pulled a ribcage muscle in the bottom of the ninth. Perlozzo said Hernandez won’t be available Thursday night. … Tejeda threw 45 pitches in the first inning. … The Rangers have renewed the agreement with their Double-A affiliate in Frisco of the Texas League through the 2010 season. … The Orioles acquired infielder Angel Chavez from Philadelphia as the player to be named in last Sunday’s Jeff Conine trade. Chavez batted .276 with six homers and 28 RBIs for Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre.

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