Alex Rios and Chris Gimenez had RBI singles in a three-run seventh inning Thursday, and the Rangers took advantage of two errors by one of the game’s top defensive shortstops en route to an 8-5 victory.
The Rangers took a 5-0 lead in the second inning, but saw Baltimore tie game in the fifth against Colby Lewis. But former Gold Glove winner J.J. Hardy helped the Rangers avoid a three-game sweep.
The Rangers quickly went to work against spot starter Chris Tillman as their first four hitters reached. The third hitter, Mitch Moreland, drove in two runs with a single.
The first five Rangers reached in the second, a stretch that included Choice’s two-run homer. Elvis Andrus added an RBI single for a 5-0 lead.
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But the Rangers would collect only one hit over the next three innings as the Orioles started their comeback against Lewis. David Lough doubled to start the third, and Markakis homered two batters later.
After a scoreless fourth, the Orioles scored three times with two outs in the fifth to tie the game. Lewis struck out Nelson Cruz for a third time for the second out, but Jones’ liner to center fell out of Leonys Martin’s glove for two runs, and Davis followed with a single to right for a 5-5 tie.
Lewis was done after five innings, allowing five runs on seven hits. He has allowed at least five runs in three of his past four outings and in four of his past six to push his ERA to 5.77 after 10 starts.
Robbie Ross worked two perfect innings in relief of Lewis, and became the catcher of record when the Rangers scored the go-ahead run in the seventh as Hardy committed two errors.
The first was a throwing error at Hardy rushed to get Rougned Odor at first on a slow roller. Instead, Odor moved to second and then to third as Shin-Soo Choo grounded out.
The Orioles’ infield was in when Andrus sent a roller to Hardy, who booted it to allow Odor to race home. Two batters later, Alex Rios singled home Moreland, who had traded places with Andrus on a fielder’s choice and moved to second on a single by Adrian Beltre.
The Rangers weren’t done. Chris Gimenez followed the Rios single with one of his own for an 8-5 lead.
Jones homered off Tanner Scheppers to start the eighth, but Joakim Soria worked a perfect night inning.