Ryan Rua hit a tiebreaking pinch-hit three-run homer in the top of the seventh inning, and the Texas Rangers defeated the Baltimore Orioles 5-4 in the opener of their weekend series at Oriole Park on Friday night.
The game was tied at 1 when Robinson Chirinos got a one-out single off Baltimore starter Alex Cobb. Tanner Scott came on and walked Joey Gallo.
Rua then came on to bat for Carlos Tocci and homered to left on a 1-0 pitch, a three-run shot that gave Texas a 4-1 lead. Nomar Mazara added an RBI double three batters later that made it 5-1.
That proved to be just enough offense for Rangers starter Cole Hamels (5-8), who had lost two in a row and won once in his last eight starts.
Hamels gave up four runs on five hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out three with one walk as the Rangers broke a three-game losing streak.
Keone Kela closed it in the ninth for his 23rd save.
Cobb slipped to 2-12 and lost his fifth straight decision, including his third straight start. He last won June 5 and pitched well in this game, allowing two runs on six hits in 6 1/3 innings, but the Chirinos single burned him thanks to Rua's homer off Scott later in the inning.
The Orioles have lost three in a row after taking two of the first three games of a series with the Yankees earlier this week. New York took the final game of that series, and the Orioles then lost to the Phillies on Thursday and the Rangers in this game.
Gallo gave Texas a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth with a solo homer, his 22nd of the year. Baltimore tied it in the fifth on a Danny Valencia sacrifice fly to deep center.
Texas broke it open in the seventh, but Baltimore pulled back to within one on Caleb Joseph's three-run double in the bottom of the inning. The Orioles loaded the bases with one out in the eighth and got the tying run to second with two outs in the ninth but couldn't pull even.
Shin-Soo Choo celebrated his 36th birthday by reaching base for a Rangers record 49th straight game with a third-inning single.
--Field Level Media