Rangers 7, Orioles 5
Before the home run that provided the needed cushion in a 7-5 victory over the Baltimore Orioles, Teixeira scored on a passed ball that skipped not far from the plate and beat out an infield single.
“Those are the kind of things everybody appreciates and wants to see,” shortstop Michael Young said. “Tex just plays the game hard.”
After Gary Matthews Jr. led off with a disputed home run that ended Daniel Cabrera’s scoreless streak, Teixeira put the Rangers up 3-0 in the first when he charged home on the passed ball. An inning later, the 220-pound first baseman hit an infield chopper fielded by Daniel Cabrera, and beat the pitcher to first base by a step.
“The most impressive thing was beating out the groundball to the pitcher,” manager Buck Showalter said. “A lot of guys mail that one in.”
Especially considering the Rangers (69-66) will start September nine games behind AL West-leading Oakland.
Carlos Lee had a home run and an RBI double, but was also charged with an error when he knocked a ball out of Matthews’ glove in the outfield that led to an unearned run.
Nick Markakis was 3-for-5 with a double and his 10th home run in August, the most by an Orioles rookie in a month. Markakis is 30-for-74 (.405) his last 19 games.
Cabrera (7-9) struck out seven and walked four in five innings. The rookie right-hander hadn’t allowed a run his previous two starts, but his streak of 16 scoreless innings ended when Matthews hit a full-count pitch to center field.
Matthews’ ball hit the yellow line on top of the wall and bounced back onto the field. Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo came out for an extended conversation with the entire umpire crew after second base umpire Larry Vanover signaled home run.
“Their answer to me, they said it still left the park,” Perlozzo said.
“It wasn’t a home run,” center fielder David Newhan said. “Underneath the yellow line, there’s a lip. It hit that, and caused it to bounce up.”
The umpires ruled otherwise and Cabrera walked the next two batters after a nearly five-minute delay. Lee followed with a double before Cabrera struck out three straight batters in a 37-pitch inning.
Teixeira’s 24th homer, a two-run shot off Bruce Chen in the sixth, put the Rangers up 7-2. The Maryland native has seven home runs in nine games against Baltimore this season—and 15 home runs since the All-Star break.
“I hope everyone in here is trying to hustle and play hard,” Teixeira said. “We’re not out of it.”
Adam Eaton (4-4) had a season-high seven strikeouts in five innings. Joaquin Benoit pitched 3 2-3 innings, giving up an RBI single to Melvin Mora with two outs in the ninth. Akinori Otsuka then gave up a two-run single to Markakis before getting the final out for his 29th save in 32 chances.
Markakis led off the fourth with his 14th homer, and Miguel Tejada hit a hard single through Teixeira’s legs at first before Jay Gibbons hit a flyball to left-center. Matthews had the ball in his glove, but Lee kept coming and knocked it loose from the all-star centerfielder. Newhan followed with an RBI groundout.
Lee led off the fifth with his 32nd home run, but only his fourth in 33 games since being traded from Milwaukee on July 28.
Newhan was in center field because Corey Patterson has a sprained shoulder from slamming into the wall on a catch against Matthews on Tuesday night. Newhan robbed Lee of a hit with a diving catch to end the second after Michael Young’s sacrifice fly.
Teixeira is 7-for-11 with six homers in his career against Chen. … Perlozzo doesn’t expect Patterson to play this weekend in Oakland. … It was the first leadoff homer this season for Texas. … The Rangers finished August with 17 wins, their most in a month this season. They still go into September nine games behind AL West-leading Oakland. … The passed ball was against Danny Ardoin, who filled in for injured Ramon Hernandez (strained ribcage) in his first start since being claimed off waivers this week from Colorado.