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Orioles 3, Rangers 1

The SportsXchange

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Nate McLouth had two hits, including a run-scoring double, to help make a winner out of Wien-Yin Chen, who continued his mastery over the Texas Rangers in the Baltimore Orioles' 3-1 victory Friday in the first game of a three-game series.

Chen (5-3) received additional support from Matt Wieters, who had a home run, and Nick Markakis, who had an RBI double and stole a home run from Adrian Beltre with a leaping grab over the right-field fence.

Derek Holland (8-5) took the loss for the Rangers. Craig Gentry's sacrifice fly in the third accounted for Texas' only run, scoring Jeff Baker.

The Rangers stranded seven runners against Chen, who improved to 3-0 with a 1.28 ERA in three career starts against Texas.

Jim Johnson notched his 31st save of the season, but not before Texas tried to rally in the ninth.

Pinch-hitter David Murphy singled to lead off the ninth, and Ian Kinsler was hit by a pitch with two outs. However, Johnson induced a game-ending groundout by Elvis Andrus.

Holland gave up three runs on six hits over eight innings. He had six strikeouts and gave up a home run, to Wieters in the second inning.

The Texas lefty retired 10 of the last 11 hitters he faced after Baltimore scored an insurance run in the fifth on Markakis' run-scoring double.

Baker, who was activated from the disabled list (sprained thumb) on Friday, went 2-for-4. Kinsler had two doubles and Andrus had a double and a single.

Chris Davis was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Davis, the top vote-getter among fan balloting for the All-Star Game, is now 0-for-7 with six strikeouts against Holland in his career.

Wieters smacked a 2-2 pitch from Holland for a solo home run in the second. McLouth's double down the right-field line scored Brian Roberts, who walked to lead off the top of the third, and Markakis' blooper to left-center brought home Manny Machado in the fifth.

The fourth inning started with a spectacular defensive play by Markakis, who leaped above the top of the right-field wall to steal a would-be home run by Beltre.

Good defense by the Rangers kept the damage to a minimum in the Orioles' half of the third after Holland walked two.

The Rangers' lefty got out of the jam with a strikeout of Machado and two groundouts, including a hard-hit ball by Davis that was speared by Kinsler, who assisted on the putout to Moreland.

Notes: Mostly clear skies and an unseasonably cool 87 degrees greeted Holland's first pitch. ... Rangers All-Star right fielder Nelson Cruz was out of the lineup with a migraine, team officials said. A.J. Pierzynski moved up the lineup to hit third. Leonys Martin was in right field, and Gentry, activated from the disabled list, played center field. ... With the victory, Baltimore manager Buck Showalter became the fourth manager to win 250 or more games with four different teams. Showalter, who has managed the Yankees, Diamondbacks and Ranges, joined Joe Torre (Mets, Braves, Cardinals, Yankees and Dodgers), Gene Mauch (Phillies, Expos, Angels, Twins) and Dick Williams (Red Sox, Athletics, Expos and Padres) with the distinction. ... Davis continued to say that the burst blister suffered in the All-Star Home Run Derby will not be a problem for him. Davis was in the lineup in his usual fifth spot and at first base. ... The Rangers' Lance Berkman is due to come off the disabled list on Monday, though manager Ron Washington said he'll need a few rehabilitation games in the minors.
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