ARLINGTON, Texas -- Baltimore Orioles rookie Jake Arrieta grew up going to games at Rangers Ballpark. This time, he was on the mound helping the majors' worst team get a win.
Arrieta pitched into the seventh inning, Corey Patterson had another big hit against Texas and the Orioles won 4-1 Sunday to go into the All-Star break with their first four-game road sweep since 1995.
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"To have all my friends and family here, it feels great. To sweep one of the best teams in the league in Arlington, that's huge for our team's confidence," said Arrieta, who pitched at nearby Plano East High and then TCU. "It's a great way to end the first half."The Orioles (29-59) hadn't won any of their 14 road series this season before Texas."These guys probably feel like they don't want to go on the break," said Juan Samuel, who became the Orioles' interim manager when Dave Trembley was fired June 4. "But we've gone through a lot."Despite their 3-7 homestand, the Rangers (50-38) still have a 4 1/2-game division lead. The Los Angeles Angels have also been struggling, losing 5-2 at Oakland on Sunday to end a 1-6 trip."We're in first place. There's no need for us to be sad," manager Ron Washington said. "We just have to come out of the break and hold on to it."The Rangers led 1-0 after All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler hit a two-out homer in the first. Baltimore responded with three doubles in the second -- Adam Jones had a leadoff double, Julio Lugo had an RBI double and Patterson hit a two-run double off C.J. Wilson (7-5) that snapped a 1-all tie.Miguel Tejada, who walked three times against Wilson, homered in the ninth.Arrieta (3-2), the 24-year-old right-hander who had more than 100 family and friends in the stands for his seventh major league start, held Texas to six hits over 6 1/3 innings."I only made one or two mistakes. Kinsler was able to take advantage on a fastball that ran away," Arrieta said. "There was adrenaline at the start of the game, but I felt comfortable."Arrieta hadn't won since his first two starts, including his June 10 debut at the New York Yankees. The Orioles bullpen blew the 3-1 lead he had after 6 1/3 innings in his previous start Tuesday at Detroit, but not against the Rangers.Will Ohman allowed the only two batters he faced to reach, but Jason Berken pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings before Alfredo Simon worked around two singles in the ninth for his 13th save.After Baltimore won 7-6 in 10 innings Friday night, when Patterson hit a tying, two-out, two-strike slam in the ninth, the Rangers didn't have a hit until the seventh inning Saturday, when newly acquired left-hander Cliff Lee made his Texas debut with a complete-game loss.Kinsler gave the Rangers a quick lead in the series finale, but that was the only of their nine hits that went for extra bases.Chris Davis, the first baseman recalled when Justin Smoak was sent to Seattle as part of the Lee deal, had three hits and a walk for Texas.Wilson had won his last four home starts, but threw only 60 of his 111 pitches for strikes during 4 2/3 innings. The left-hander struck out five -- including all three batters he faced in the third -- walked five and threw three wild pitches. The only hits he allowed were the three doubles in the second."I felt like I did a good job of preventing guys from getting hits, but I couldn't keep guys off base," Wilson said. "I'm a better pitcher than the result I put up today and I'm frustrated about that discrepancy."While Kinsler had his fourth homer of the season, he had a tough day defensively.He was charged with an error in the fifth when he made a nice backhanded stop up the middle on a grounder by Ty Wigginton, Baltimore's All-Star, then dropped the ball taking it out of his glove. In the eighth, Kinsler couldn't come up with the ball on a similar play and slammed his hand on the ground. Craig Tatum was credited with a single, then had his first career stolen base when he was called safe even though it appeared he slid right into Kinsler's swipe tag."We hit a little rough spot. They're playing good and we couldn't really get anything going offensively," Kinsler said. "We've got three days to think about it."
The last four-game road sweep by Baltimore came against the Chicago White Sox in June 1995. ... Ohman made his 45th appearance this season without a decision. The previous Orioles record for appearances without a decision to start the season was Mike Flanagan's 42 in 1992. ... The first pitch was thrown by King Oyo, who at age 18 is one of the youngest reigning monarchs in the world, over a kingdom in Uganda. It was his first MLB game.