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Beltre homers twice in Texas win

The SportsXchange

BALTIMORE -- As a flyball settled in the glove of center fielder Leonys Martin for the final out in the ninth, Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre ran over and shared a hug with first baseman Mitch Moreland behind the pitcher's mound at Camden Yards.

Beltre certainly honed in on whatever his target was here Tuesday night, as he reached base all five trips to the plate with two homers, two singles and an intentional walk as the Rangers beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-4. Beltre finished with five RBI as the Rangers pounded out 14 hits, with four other players getting at least two.

"I was looking for a pitch to drive and that is what I got," Beltre said of his three-run shot in the fifth after he had a solo homer in the first. "I am driving the ball. I think everyone is contributing."

"He is the big guy in the middle of the lineup," manager Ron Washington said of Beltre, who now has 20 home runs on the year.

The Rangers (53-37) have won 12 of the past 14 regular-season games between the teams. Starting pitcher Martin Perez improved to 3-1 and sent Baltimore (49-42) to its fifth loss in the last six games. Zach Britton (2-3) absorbed the loss and gave up both Beltre blasts.

"He is a different guy than we saw last season," Beltre said of Perez. "He is attacking the strike zone."

Said Perez: "I am happy with what I (did) tonight. I am working hard every day."

"He didn't rattle," Washington said of Perez, who lasted until the seventh. "He did an outstanding job tonight. The pitching stepped up for us."

Perez allowed four runs (two earned) in six innings before Jason Frasor took over in the seventh with one on and no outs. Tanner Scheppers, whose ERA dropped to 1.84, pitched a scoreless eighth for Texas and Cory Burns set the Orioles down in order in the ninth.

"They have a real good lineup," Texas catcher A.J. Pierzynski said of the Orioles. "Our bullpen has been great for us all year."

After homers by Beltre in the first and fifth, Texas added to its lead in the seventh as Jurickson Profar hit an RBI double off reliever Kevin Gausman to make it 6-4. Later in the inning Pierzynski ripped an RBI single to right against reliever Brian Matusz. Beltre had an RBI single in the ninth to make it 8-4 and finish the first five-RBI game by a Texas player this season.

"He gets a broken bat and (still) gets an RBI," noted Burns.

Texas scored four runs in the fifth to take a 5-2 lead. Nelson Cruz had an RBI single, and Beltre hit a three-run homer to left. Beltre now has 25 multi-homer games in his career and has a hit in 11 games in a row.

"You know he's a good hitter, and then when you make bad pitches on top of them, he's not going to miss them," said Baltimore manager Buck Showalter.

Baltimore's J.J. Hardy hit a two-run single in the bottom of the fifth to cut the Texas lead to 5-4.

Manny Machado gave the Orioles a 2-1 lead with a solo homer to left in the third off Perez. An RBI single by Brian Roberts in the second tied the game at 1-1.

Beltre handed Texas a 1-0 lead in the first on a solo homer against Baltimore starter Zach Britton, who gave up five runs and eight hits in five innings.

Texas had three errors in the first five innings -- one each by shortstop Jurickson Profar, third baseman Beltre and first baseman Robinson Chirinos. Two of them came before the Hardy hit, leading to two unearned runs in the fifth.

NOTES: Texas has the best road record in the American League at 26-18 ... LHP Wei-Yin Chen (6-3, 3.63 ERA) will make the start for Baltimore on Wednesday against Josh Lindblom (1-2, 4.50 ERA). ... Former Orioles who used to play for Texas include All-Star 1B Chris Davis, RHP Scott Feldman, RHP Tommy Hunter and C Taylor Teagarden. ... Rangers RHP Joe Nathan got his 30th save Monday, the eighth time's he's reached that figure in his career. He and Mariano Rivera are the only active pitchers with at least eight years of 30-plus saves.

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