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Markakis, Jones lead Orioles past Beltre's Rangers

The SportsXchange

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Nick Markakis and Adam Jones drove in two runs each and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Texas Rangers 6-5 for their second win in as many nights at Globe Life Park.

The Orioles (30-27) boosted their American League-leading team batting average thanks to 13 hits. Wednesday night's win was Baltimore's fourth in a row on the road.

Markakis drove in catcher Caleb Joseph with the winning run on a single in the sixth inning.

Former Ranger Nelson Cruz continued his assault on his former club, reaching base in all five of his at-bats and scoring two runs.

Facing growing pains because of a barrage of injuries, Texas (29-30) was forced to start three rookies: shortstop Luis Sardinas, second baseman Rougned Odor and pitcher Matthew Martinez.

Sardinas committed two early errors, both of which led to Baltimore runs. Martinez allowed six runs (four earned) through 5 1/3 innings. Odor went hitless.

"Tonight was one of those nights," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "They're players and they're gonna make mistakes, but you could tell they weren't fazed."

Third baseman Adrian Beltre tried to single-handedly keep the Rangers in the game, belting two home runs and accounting for all five RBIs.

After allowing five runs over five innings, Orioles starter Bud Norris left with a right forearm contusion suffered on a liner up the middle off the bat of Mitch Moreland.

Standing in the locker room with an ice pack wrapped around his bruised forearm, Norris (4-5) was quick to give credit to Beltre for his night at the plate.

"He's on fire," Norris said. "He's obviously one of the best hitters in the game. He hit both balls to right-center field. When he's locked in that way, you have to tip your cap."

After reaching on an error in the top of the first, Cruz scored on an infield single by Jones to give the Orioles an early 1-0 lead.

Texas answered in the bottom half of the inning, taking a 2-1 lead after Beltre's 401-foot home run off the second deck in right field.

"He's been grinding," Washington said. "Tonight he was the guy. He put us on his back. We just couldn't put up enough runs to help him."

Markakis hit Martinez's first pitch of the third inning into the right-field seats to knot the score at 2. Third baseman Manny Machado, who doubled to left, came around to score on another RBI single from Jones.

After reaching on one of Sardinas' errors, Cruz scored on shortstop J.J. Hardy's sacrifice fly as Baltimore pulled ahead 4-2.

First baseman Chris Davis hit a two-out solo home run in the top of the fifth to give the Orioles a 5-2 lead.

Once again, the Rangers found an answer in Beltre. With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Beltre crushed a fastball by Norris into the right-field seats for a three-run homer, tying the score at 5.

"We've got a lot of guys in this clubhouse that know how to swing the bat," Norris said. "As a starting pitcher, you just try to throw up as many zeroes as you can, knowing that one or two runs isn't going to kill you."

NOTES: Orioles RHP Bud Norris left game after five innings with a right forearm contusion after getting hit with line drive. ... After undergoing an MRI on Wednesday for a possible oblique strain, Orioles RHP Miguel Gonzalez was scratched from Thursday's start. RHP Chris Tillman will start in his place. ... Orioles No. 1-ranked prospect, RHP Dylan Bundy, who underwent Tommy John surgery last June, is scheduled to pitch in his first minor league game of the season on June 15 for short-season Class A Aberdeen. ... Rangers SS Luis Sardinas started in place of Elvis Andrus, who was unexpectedly given the day off by manager Ron Washington. Sardinas failed to impress, committing two errors, both of which led to Orioles runs. ... Rangers DH Adrian Beltre's two home runs gave him the 26th multi-homer game of his career.

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