ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Now the Baltimore Orioles have a streak they don't want to extend.
The surprising O's (6-3), still tied for the American League's best record, had their six-game winning streak -- already matching their longest of last season -- abruptly ended Thursday in a doubleheader sweep by the Texas Rangers."It's a long day," manager Dave Trembley said. "It's much longer when you lose."Especially late in games.Ian Kinsler hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth inning of the nightcap for a 5-4 victory, right after the Orioles had overcome a three-run deficit. The second baseman then had a nifty stop to deny pinch-hitter Luke Scott a hit in the ninth, when C.J. Wilson worked another perfect inning for his second save of the day.The Rangers won the opener 3-1 after scoring twice in the seventh.With Baltimore and Kansas City leading the AL, the Rangers (5-4) are over .500 for the first time under second-year manager Ron Washington. They started 2-4 last season and were already out of contention after a 20-loss May."It's feels great. It's something we've been thinking about," Wilson said. "Especially with the start we got off to last year when we were spinning our wheels and sinking."Kinsler's hit was a hard shot that shortstop Luis Hernandez couldn't backhand, and the third consecutive one-out single against Chad Bradford (0-1). That scored Ben Broussard, who had moved up to third on Adam Melhuse's hitJamey Wright (1-0) worked 2 1/3 innings in relief of starter Kason Gabbard before Wilson pitched his second 1-2-3 inning of the day for his third save of the season."Our pitching has been incredible," shortstop Michael Young said. "They've been leading the way for us. ... We know we have a lot of guys capable of doing special things."In the opener, Kevin Millwood (1-2) allowed one run in seven innings to lower his ERA to 1.29 and finally get a victory to show for his solid pitching this season. Joaquin Benoit then struck out three of the four batters he faced before their left-handed closer took over.Young, who scored twice in the opener, hit a solo homer in the first inning of the nightcap. Milton Bradley had a two-run double and David Murphy an RBI single in the third off Adam Loewen for a 4-1 lead.The Orioles overcome that deficit on Jay Payton's two-out, two-run homer in the sixth that chased Gabbard, and an RBI groundout by Kevin Millar that tied it in the eighth."I felt like everybody on the team did their job except me," said Loewen, the left-hander pitching a day after his 24th birthday. "We have a solid team, solid all the way around. We're going to rebound from this pretty quickly."Gabbard, who threw seven scoreless innings in his first start at the Los Angeles Angels, left with a 4-3 lead after the last of his 101 pitches was the homer by Payton. Gabbard, who turned 26 on Tuesday, allowed seven hits with one strikeout and two walks.Millwood was coming off a complete-game 2-1 loss, after losing the season opener despite giving up only two unearned runs, before winning his sixth straight start against the Orioles."We need him to lead this pitching staff, and he's doing that," Washington said."To have something to show for it is awfully nice," Millwood said.Texas scored only one run for Millwood in each of his first two starts, both on the road. It was 1-1 against the Orioles after the right-hander had thrown the last of his 111 pitches, but Texas scored twice in the seventh on Young's RBI single and a sacrifice fly by Josh Hamilton.The Orioles had only three hits against Millwood, including an RBI single by Ramon Hernandez. Millwood struck out two and overcame five walks, one short of his career high."I wasn't throwing where I wanted to. Hopefully, it was just one of those days," he said. "I felt like I was able to make a few pitches when I needed to."Kinsler started the go-ahead rally with a one-out single off Steve Trachsel (1-1). Kinsler then stole second and scored on Young's single. Young also stole second and went to third on catcher Hernandez's throw into center field before Hamilton's sacrifice fly -- the second time he drove in Young.Trachsel gave up three runs and five hits over 6 1/3 innings, leaving after Young's single. The 37-year-old right-hander struck out two and walked four."Both starting pitchers were on their game. Trachsel made some great pitches. Millwood is a crafty veteran, and he had good movement," Trembley said. "With due respect, I thought both pitchers benefited from the time the game started. The batters were having a hard time seeing the ball."
The Rangers honored public address announcer Chuck Morgan for working his 2,000th consecutive game, the first of the doubleheader. Except for 2002 when he worked in Kansas City, all of those games have been in Texas since 1983. ... Millwood hasn't lost to Baltimore since May 2006. He's allowed eight earned runs over 44 innings (1.64 ERA) in that winning streak. ... The doubleheader started under sunny, clear skies. While the wind was near 20 mph and gusting, there were no other indications of the severe storms that moved through the area and forced the postponement of Wednesday night's game.