In battle of AL powers, Orioles fall to Rangers
- Baltimore starter Kevin Gausman fell to 0-5 on the season.
- Every Orioles starter had at least one hit and the team had runners in every inning.
- The game was a battle between the American League's two best teams.
ARLINGTON, Texas — The Baltimore Orioles made a long trip for one game, and kept getting runners on base.
But after traveling 1,400 miles for a makeup game in Texas between games at home, the Orioles couldn't get enough runners the final 90 feet.
Every starter had at least one hit, and Baltimore had runners every inning, but scored in only one of them in a 4-3 loss to the Texas Rangers on Monday night in a matchup of the American League's top two teams.
"Realistically, we had some opportunities that we didn't cash in," clean-up hitting DH Mark Trumbo said. "But on the flip side, we also got 15 hits. The offense was there. Maybe not as timely as we would have liked."
The Orioles, who lead the majors with 107 homers, had 13 singles and only two extra-base hits — RBI doubles by J.J. Hardy and Joey Rickard between an RBI single by Adam Jones in second inning off Derek Holland for a 3-0 lead.
Baltimore then loaded the bases with no outs in the third before Hardy struck out and Nolan Reimold grounded into an inning-ending double play. That was the MLB-best 92nd double play turned by the Rangers this season, and they added another in the seventh.
"The key to our game was the inning where we had bases loaded with nobody out," manager Buck Showalter said. "We had Holland there on the ropes and we let him get off."
The Rangers have the AL's best record at 46-25, their best ever through 71 games for a 9 1/2-game lead over Seattle in the AL West. Baltimore is 40-29, a half-game ahead of Boston in the AL East.
Texas is 17-4 in one-run games, the most such wins in the majors — and have won its last eight.
After Holland allowed 11 of the 23 batters he faced to reach base, three Texas relievers combined to get the final 14 outs.
"Our confidence has continued to grow in what they've been able to do obviously," manager Jeff Banister said of the bullpen. "We know the kind of the struggles that we had earlier in the year, but these guys ... they're doing the things that we thought that they were going to be able to do coming out of spring training."
Former closer Shawn Tolleson (2-2) worked 1 2-3 innings after relieving Holland in the fifth. Tony Barnette then had two scoreless innings and Sam Dyson got the ninth for his 14th save in 15 chances, including 12 straight since taking over as the closer a month ago.
Shin-Soo Choo hit a go-ahead two-run single in the fourth to put Texas up 4-3, right after Bobby Wilson ended a 10-pitch at-bat off Kevin Gausman (0-5) with a sacrifice fly. Ian Desmond hit his 11th homer an inning earlier, a 437-foot solo shot that landed halfway up the hill in straightaway center field.
Gausman struck out five, while allowing four runs in five innings.
"I haven't really pitched with a lead very often this year," Gausman said. "To get that early in the game ... I've got to be able to shut the door and not give it right back like I did."
This was the Orioles' first one-game trip between home games since 1967, when they had to travel about 40 miles to play the Washington Senators, the team that in 1972 became the Rangers playing in Texas.
Since the makeup of an April 17 rainout counted as a series, the AL West-leading Rangers stretched their club record to 10 consecutive series wins — the longest in the American League since Tampa Bay's 10 in a row three years ago.
Two-time All-Star 3B Manny Machado remained in Baltimore for what was the second game of his four-game MLB suspension for charging the mound against Kansas City on June 7.
Orioles: RHP Brad Brach wasn't going to pitch after appearing in two straight and three of the last four games, so he was left home. He threw 33 pitches in two innings Sunday.
Orioles: RHP Tyler Wilson (3-5) will face RHP Luis Perdomo (2-2) when Baltimore returns home for the first of two interleague games against the San Diego Padres.
Rangers: Colby Lewis (6-0) pitches for the first of two home games against Cincinnati.