BALTIMORE -- Chris Davis and Brian Roberts hit solo homers off Texas Rangers starter Ross Wolf, and Nate McLouth later added a key RBI single as the Baltimore Orioles pulled out a 3-1 victory Thursday night at Camden Yards to split this four-game series.
Missed opportunity: The Rangers missed a chance to pull into a tie with the A’s atop the American League West. Texas was a half-game back of the idle Oakland Athletics, and the loss in Baltimore dropped the Rangers one game behind. The Rangers haven’t had at least a share of first place since July 1. Texas had been 12-2 in its previous 14 games versus the Orioles before Baltimore won the last two games of the series.
Good effort: When the Rangers named Wolf (1-2) the fill-in starter because regularly scheduled starter Yu Darvish was put on the disabled list with a back issue, the right-hander said he could give the team 75 to 80 pitches. He did just that -- and did it very well. Wolf, pitching from the stretch, allowed two runs on three hits in six solid innings. He threw 72 pitches and kept the potent Orioles contained, allowing only the homers from Davis and Roberts and giving the Texas bullpen a much-needed break.
Starting to break out? Mitch Moreland had been stuck in a horrendous slump in recent days. He went into the game 4-for-34 in his previous 11 games but went 3-for-4 Thursday. The first baseman reached on an infield single in the second, a rocket that second baseman Roberts couldn’t quite handle. Moreland then ripped a single to center in the fifth, but the Rangers left two on and couldn’t score. He's now 4-for-12 on this road trip.
Quiet bats: The Rangers scored 16 runs in the first two games of this series and won both. But their bats then went quiet, as Texas got only two runs total in the final two games -- one in each contest -- and lost both. Baltimore’s Miguel Gonzalez threw 6 2/3 solid innings in this game, allowing only an Ian Kinsler homer for the lone Texas run. The Rangers had a chance to score in the eighth, with a runner on second and none out, but former Texas right-hander Darren O'Day retired the next three batters.
Streak continues: Adrian Beltre waited until late to keep his hitting streak alive. He singled off Jim Johnson to start the ninth inning. The 12-game streak with which he entered the game was tied for second-longest in the majors behind Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury (18). Beltre now is 23-for-51 during his 13 straight games with a hit. He finished the Baltimore series with six hits overall.
Up next: The Rangers move on to start a three-game series with the Detroit Tigers on Friday. Justin Grimm will be on the mound for Texas against Doug Fister at 6:08 p.m. CT on FSSW and ESPN 103.3 and 1540.