Markakis drives in 5 to help Orioles rally past Rangers 11-9
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—First-year Orioles manager Dave Trembley has marveled at the play of Nick Markakis this season.
The young outfielder gave Trembley another reason to be impressed Saturday night.
Markakis homered and had a career-high five RBIs, including the go-ahead two-run double that sent Baltimore past the Texas Rangers 11-9.
“For a guy who’s 23 years old, he doesn’t swing at many bad pitches,” Trembley said. “He plays every day and gets big hits. To me, that’s a baseball player.”
After hitting .291 with 16 home runs and 62 RBIs as a rookie in 2006, Markakis has played in all of Baltimore’s games this season and increased his RBI total to 108.
“I’m out here learning every day,” Markakis said. “But if you ask veterans who have been around a long time, they’d tell you they’re learning every day.”
Baltimore, which had lost 24 of 31, trailed 8-5 but scored twice in the seventh, with Markakis’ RBI single drawing the Orioles within a run.
Brian Roberts, who had three hits, tied the game off reliever Wes Littleton (3-2) with a run-scoring single in the eighth. Littleton intentionally walked Melvin Mora to load the bases and John Rheinecker relieved to face Markakis, who lined a double down the left-field line.
Aubrey Huff capped the inning with an RBI ground out.
Jim Hoey (2-4) pitched a scoreless seventh to earn the win in relief. Jamie Walker worked a perfect ninth to earn his sixth save in 11 chances and end a game in which 11 pitchers were used and 387 pitches were thrown—including 192 by the Orioles.
“It was like a B game on the back fields in spring training,” Trembley said.
Hank Blalock hit his ninth homer in the eighth for the Rangers, who have lost 10 of 12.
Ian Kinsler hit a three-run homer in the second, his 20th, to put Texas ahead 5-2. He also stole his 22nd base in the first and is the sixth player in Rangers history to have 20 homers and 20 steals in a season.
Texas starter Edinson Volquez gave up five runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings, but a shaky bullpen couldn’t get Volquez the win.
“Those were young kids we had out there,” Washington said. “We were hoping they could get us through, but it didn’t happen.”
Baltimore starter Radhames Liz allowed six runs in 2 2-3 innings in his fourth career start. Liz gave up six hits, walked four and threw three wild pitches.
Kinsler was hit by a pitch in the first inning, but plate umpire Ed Rapuano ruled Kinsler stuck his elbow out intentionally and he wasn’t awarded first base. After Washington argued, Kinsler walked on the next pitch.
Four pitches before homering, Kinsler hit the ground hard to avoid getting hit in the head with a fastball from Liz.
Markakis’ 21st homer gave the Orioles a 2-0 lead in the first.
After Kinsler’s homer in the second, Nelson Cruz had an RBI single in the third to put the Rangers ahead 6-2.
Freddie Bynum hit a two-run triple in the fourth and scored on Roberts’ sacrifice fly to close the gap to 6-5.
Texas scored twice in the fourth on Blalock’s RBI ground out and David Murphy’s single.
Baltimore RHP Jeremy Guthrie (strained left oblique) threw a bullpen session Saturday. If he feels all right Sunday, Guthrie will start Wednesday or Thursday. … Cruz was 2-of-5 and is 7-of-12 in the series. … Mora reached base five times, with two hits and three walks. … Alfonso Soriano was the last Texas player to hit 20 homers and steal 20 bases in a season, doing so in 2005.
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