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By Todd Karpovich, The Sports Xchange July 11, 2013 10:50 PM
BALTIMORE -- Baltimore Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez suffered through back spasms prior to his scheduled start Thursday against the Texas Rangers, and there was some concern about whether he would be able to pitch. Gonzalez went for treatment and was given the OK by the training staff to take the mound. He then put together another gutsy performance against an explosive Texas lineup. Gonzalez picked up the win with his seventh consecutive quality start, and Chris Davis smashed his league-leading 34th home run in the Orioles' 3-1 win. With the victory, Baltimore salvaged a split in the four-game series after losing the first two games. Gonzalez (7-3) allowed just one run on four hits over 6 2/3 innings. He struck out four and walked two. "We played a great game overall," Gonzalez said. "We were ahead all the time. That's what's important for us to be doing. Splitting the series was really important for us." Davis snapped out of a 1-for-24 skid by hitting a solo home run to center field for a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Davis also set career highs for home runs and RBIs (86) in a season. Baltimore second baseman Brian Roberts increased the lead to 2-0 when he led off the third with a homer to right field. It was his first home run at Oriole Park since Opening Day 2011. "Any time you hit a home run, it's fun," Roberts said. "Gonzo was phenomenal with battling those back spasms. I went into the training room, and I didn't think he was going to make it out there. To go 6 2/3 against that caliber of team is pretty good." Gonzalez had allowed just two hits before giving up a solo homer to Kinsler to lead off the sixth that cut Baltimore's lead to 2-1. "(Gonzalez) is very athletic, and it allows you to repeat a delivery," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "It also allows you to have command if you get out of synch a little bit. Guys that aren't athletic, you see them make a great fielding play but not when it's a play we've worked on all spring that not many guys can make." Ross Wolf made a spot start for the Rangers after Yu Darvish was forced to go on the disabled list with a mild strain to his upper right back. Wolf (1-2) allowed just two runs on the Davis and Roberts homers in six innings. He limited Baltimore to three hits and one walk while striking out three. "I felt fine," Wolf said. "I made two mistakes, and those hitters are supposed to do what they do with mistakes. I felt fine. Unfortunately, we didn't come out with the win. The two solo shots kind of beat us, but other than that, we kept them off-balance." The Rangers threatened in the eighth when Leonys Martin led off with a walk and then took second when Davis could not handle a pickoff throw by Troy Patton. Darren O'Day replaced Patton and ended the threat by getting Kinsler to ground out before inducing popups from Elvis Andrus and Nelson Cruz. "(Wolf) kept us in the ballgame," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "I'm very happy with him. He did what his job was today. We needed him today, and he gave us what we needed out of him. We just didn't put enough runs on the board." Nate McLouth added an insurance run with an RBI single in the eighth. Jim Johnson picked up his league-leading 31st save with a scoreless ninth, despite allowing two hits. NOTES: Texas optioned RHP Josh Lindblom to Triple-A Round Rock. LHP Joseph Ortiz and RHP Wilmer Font were recalled from the Triple-A affiliate after Darvish was placed on the 15-day disabled list. ... Darvish was examined by the team physician in Dallas, and no further damage to his back was found. Darvish was replaced Thursday by Tampa Bay LHP Matt Moore on the American League All-Star roster. ... Baltimore DH Chris Dickerson was expected to avoid a trip to the disabled list after he was a late scratch from Wednesday's game because of a strained left shoulder he suffered in batting practice. ... Davis tied Boog Powell with the most RBIs by an Orioles player before the All-Star break.