Rapid Reaction: Orioles 7, Rangers 4
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers are off to a slow start after the All-Star break. Baltimore jumped on Texas early and held off a late rally for a 7-4 victory on Saturday night.
The Rangers remained two games behind Oakland in the American League West. The Athletics lost for the second straight night to the Los Angeles Angels.
Not afraid of Big Bad Wolf: The Orioles jumped all over Rangers No. 5 starter Ross Wolf for seven runs and nine hits in two innings. Wolf, who has been outstanding in multiple roles for Texas, retired five of the 16 batters he faced. Wolf put the Rangers behind 2-0 in the first inning, allowing three consecutive singles to Adam Jones, Chris Davis and Matt Wieters. Jones started a four-run third inning with a 421-foot home run to straightaway center field.
Cruz's night: Nelson Cruz had an adventure in right field. He mistimed his jump on a deep fly ball to right field that turned into a triple for Orioles leadoff hitter Nate McLouth in the second inning. He scored on Manny Machado's single. Then in the fourth inning Brian Roberts hit a line shot over Cruz's head for a two-run single, giving the Birds a 7-0 lead.
Bright spot: Jurickson Profar, in the lineup as the designated hitter, had singles in his first two at-bats. Profar entered the game with six hits in his past 40 at-bats.
Bright spot II: David Murphy had three more hits on Saturday night and is 4-for-5 so far after the All-Star break. His two-run single in the bottom of the eighth off former Ranger Tommy Hunter cut Baltimore's lead to 7-4. Murphy also had singles in the second and seventh innings.
Bright spot III: Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez was inducted into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame before Saturday night's game against the Baltimore Orioles. Rodriguez was presented with a Hall of Fame plaque in a pregame ceremony. Other Rangers Hall of Fame members on hand were Nolan Ryan, Jim Sundberg, Rusty Greer and John Wetteland.
Rangers finally score: Murphy had a single and Leonys Martin a double to set up the Rangers' first run. Ian Kinsler had a sacrifice fly to cut the Orioles' lead to 7-1.
Up next: The Rangers try to avoid a sweep when left-hander Martin Perez (3-2, 3.00 ERA) faces Baltimore right-hander Chris Tillman (11-3, 3.95) at 6:05 p.m. Sunday night on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.