Sixth-inning outburst carries Rangers past Orioles

David Driver, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Orioles had Texas starting pitcher Derek Holland on the ropes Monday night. But the lefty escaped and the Rangers beat the Orioles 8-5 to begin a four-game series against teams that began the day in second place in their respective division.
The Orioles scored three runs in the fourth to take a 3-2 lead, but Holland (7-4) wriggled out of the bases-loaded jam by striking out Matt Wieters. Wieters would end the night fanning four times as did Baltimore All-Star and home run leader, Chris Davis.
"We had some opportunities," said Baltimore manager Buck Showalter. "You have to tip your hat to Holland. We had our opportunities. We scored five runs tonight."
Ian Kinsler was one of four Texas (52-37) players with two hits, and it was his three-run double to left that keyed a six-run sixth inning when the Rangers took an 8-3 lead. Kinsler had four RBIs to tie a career high.
"I felt good; everything was good, but for the most part, I really have to pitch better than that, "Holland said. "The guys gave me some runs and I gave them right back up. For me, that's very frustrating. Three walks. I don't think it's as good as it should have been. I know I have to be better than that. I have to give Wash credit for letting me stay out there."
"Derek didn't have his best stuff, but he found a way to keep us in the ballgame," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "They got to him in the seventh. But we needed him to give us everything he had. It wasn't like he was out of gas. He's a strong kid."
"Huge, we needed it," Washington said of the six-run outburst. "We were fighting the whole night. (Kinsler) came up in that situation and delivered."
Baltimore starter Scott Feldman (0-1), in his first home start for the Orioles (49-41) following a trade last week with the Cubs, allowed seven earned runs and nine hits in 5 and 1/3 innings.
"I got an early lead and wasn't able to hold it down," Feldman said. "That sixth inning was a rough one."
The Orioles have been outscored 69-40 in the sixth inning this season.
"They hit some balls hard, too," Showalter said. "There were some balls that that seemed to find open spots. It's a tough lineup."
The Orioles left 10 runners on base while Texas relievers Ross Wolf, Joakim Soria and Joe Nathan got the last seven outs without allowing a hit or walk. Nathan got his 30th save as he fanned Davis and Wieters for the first two outs in the ninth, then got J.J. Hardy on a grounder to end the game.
Nathan is now tied with Jim Johnson of the Orioles for the major-league lead in saves.
Wieters had hit a two-run homer in the seventh to pull the Orioles to within 8-5 against Holland. Texas pitchers record 10 strikeouts while the Rangers fanned just twice and were 6-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
"My team is very confident right now," Washington said. "We just try to go out every day and play the best game we can. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose, but we certainly don't question things. We just try to play good baseball."
Texas trailed 3-2 before the big sixth-inning rally. A.J. Pierzynski doubled home a run, and an RBI single by Elvis Andrus gave the Rangers a 4-3 edge.
Troy Patton came in and gave up an RBI bloop single to Engel Beltre to make the score 5-3. After a forceout, Kinsler smashed his double to left to clear the bases and give the Rangers an 8-3 lead.
NOTES: Davis was chosen to take part in the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game next week in New York. ... Baltimore fans and talk show hosts were still raving about the play 3B Manny Machado made Sunday in New York against the Yankees' Luis Cruz as he threw from foul territory to retire the batter on a grounder. Showalter was asked before Monday's game if it was the best play the youngster has made. "I hope it is yet to come. I hope it is the one where he catches the last out in the World Series," Showalter said. ... With RHP Nick Tepesch going on the disabled list Sunday, RHP Yu Darvish and Holland are the only pitchers in the Texas' Opening Day rotation not currently on the DL. ... Washington said before the game he plans to start RHP Ross Wolf or RHP Josh Lindblom against the Orioles on Wednesday. ... LHP Zach Britton, from Weatherford, Texas, is slated to start for the Orioles on Tuesday. He'll face LHP Martin Perez.

What to Read Next