Rangers-Orioles Preview

The Associated Press

Baltimore's Wei-Yin Chen is ready to take the mound for the first time in nearly two months after being sidelined with an injury.

Unfortunately, he'll have to deal with Adrian Beltre, who is in the midst of a hitting tear.

Beltre looks to stay locked in and lead the Texas Rangers to a third straight victory over the Orioles on Wednesday night at Camden Yards.

The Texas third baseman continued his torrid stretch in Tuesday's 8-4 win as the Rangers (53-37) tied the franchise's second-best 90-game record with a 14th victory in 19 contests. Beltre was 4 for 4 with two home runs and had a season-high five RBIs. He has six homers over his last six games, improving his 2013 total to 20.

Texas is batting .267 as a team with 56 runs during Beltre's 11-game hitting streak, during which he owns a 1.509 OPS.

"He's been hot and cold and he's picked it up again," manager Ron Washington said. "He picked it up at the right time. When Adrian is getting it done it usually relaxes everybody else. That is what the big guy does in the middle of the lineup."

After losing six of eight, the Orioles (49-42) will activate Chen (3-3, 3.04 ERA) from the disabled list for his first start since May 12 against the Twins, which he left with a strained right oblique.

Chen threw seven shutout innings in a rehab outing for Double-A Bowie on Thursday.

The Rangers, meanwhile, will turn to right-hander Josh Lindblom (1-2, 4.50) in place of Nick Tepesch, who was placed on the DL on Sunday with right elbow inflammation.

Lindblom has gone 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in four starts, the most recent a 4-3 win over Oakland on June 20. He's tossed 4 1-3 scoreless innings over three relief appearances since, allowing one hit and striking out six.

"He has been competitive," Washington told the team's official website. "The main thing is he has been executing pitches. He's going to give up runs, but he has been able to execute. He does his homework and he's prepared when he goes out there. We feel confident with him starting."

Lindblom has never faced Baltimore, which would love to see Chris Davis snap out of a funk. He's 1 for 21 with 12 strikeouts over his last six games, the lone hit a home run against the New York Yankees on Saturday.

Fellow All-Star J.J. Hardy entered the series 1 for his last 22 but has gone 3 for 8 in the first two games and drove in a pair of runs Tuesday.

Chen won his lone start versus Texas, allowing two runs over 7 2-3 innings in a 6-5 final on May 10, 2012.

He's the fifth straight left-hander to start against the Rangers. On Tuesday, they tagged Zach Britton for five runs and eight hits, including both of Beltre's homers.

Beltre is 8 for 14 with three home runs off lefties during his hitting streak, but 0 for 3 against Chen.