ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Texas manager Buck Showalter was confident scuffling rookie Chris Young would get back on track.
Young rebounded nicely Sunday with seven scoreless innings to earn his first victory in more than a month as the Rangers beat the Baltimore Orioles 9-3 on Sunday."That's why you want five guys like Chris, you trust they can get it done," Showalter said. "He had that look in his eye. He put on a real competitive front."Mark Teixeira and Gary Matthews Jr. each homered and drove in three runs. Kevin Mench also connected for the Rangers, who lead the majors with 188 home runs.That was more than enough support for Young, who came into Sunday's start 0-3 with an 11.41 ERA in his six previous outings.Young (9-7) allowed five hits and struck out three to pick up his first win since beating the Angels on June 30.He said the key was getting ahead early in the count with his fastball."I was trying to be aggressive with my fastball," Young said. "All three of my pitches were working. I felt like I didn't have to battle as much."The Orioles, who have lost two straight, are now 2-2 under interim manager Sam Perlozzo.Baltimore starting pitcher Sidney Ponson (7-11) left in the third inning with a strained right calf. He hurt himself covering first base on a Matthews grounder in the second.Ponson allowed three runs and five hits in 2 1/3 innings and was replaced by Todd Williams.On July 28, Ponson left a start in the third against the Rangers when he was hit in the right thumb."It's a bad string of luck," Baltimore catcher Sal Fasano
said. "He gets hit and then this happens to him. I feel badly for him."Ponson left the game with his team trailing 2-0, and Texas built on the lead thanks to Teixeira and Matthews' power.Teixeira's 31st homer was a two-run shot off Jorge Julio in the seventh that gave the Rangers a 9-0 lead. He also tied a career high with four hits.Matthews tied his career best with his 14th homer, a three-run drive in the sixth to give the Rangers a 7-0 advantage.Texas finished its homestand with a 3-3 record and start a 13-game road trip Monday night in Boston."It's always nice to win the last game before a road trip," Teixeira said. "You never want to go on a three-hour flight after getting kicked."Kevin Gryboski relieved Young to start the eighth and gave up three runs. Eric Byrnes and Miguel Tejada had RBI singles and Sammy Sosa had a run-scoring groundout.Texas opened the scoring in the first on Teixiera's RBI single.Young ran into trouble when the Orioles loaded the bases in the second. Sosa walked with one out, and Luis Matos and David Newhan singled.But Young wriggled out of the jam when Fasano flied out to center."All of a sudden the last two games we're having trouble getting two-out RBI," Perlozzo said. "We have to get that turned around."The Rangers stretched their lead with two runs in the third. Michael Young had an RBI single off Ponson. Then after Texas loaded the bases, Williams relieved and gave up an RBI groundout to Alfonso Soriano.Mench broke a 3-for-22 slump with his leadoff homer off Williams in the fourth. It was Mench's 19th home run of the season.
Baltimore's Melvin Mora missed his third straight game with a sprained ankle. B.J. Surhoff left the game in the eighth inning with a strained left groin after beating out an infield single. ... Texas has hit 116 home runs at home this season. ... Ponson has not won since June 18 against the Rockies-- a span of nine starts. ... Young improved to 5-0 in day starts.