Wednesday, June 04, 2014
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Orioles 8, Rangers 3

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[June 04, 2014]  Orioles 8, Rangers 3: Nelson Cruz made a dramatic return to Texas, belting a three-run homer to cap a six-run eighth inning and lift visiting Baltimore in the opener of a three-game series.

Cruz, who spent the previous eight seasons with the Rangers, cracked his major league-leading 21st homer off Shawn Tolleson and Adam Jones went 4-for-5 with a solo shot as the Orioles beat Texas for the sixth consecutive time. Nick Markakis collected three hits with a run-scoring single while Delmon Young and Caleb Joseph each had two hits and an RBI.

Brian Matusz (2-1) earned the win with 1 2/3 innings of relief despite giving up a tying homer to Robinson Chirinos in the seventh. Adrian Beltre homered among his three hits while Alexi Ogando (2-3) took the loss for the Rangers, giving up three runs in one-third of an inning.

Jones led off the fourth inning with a homer off the foul pole in right field but Beltre answered with a leadoff blast in the bottom of the frame, hammering a pitch over the wall in left field. Baltimore inched ahead in the sixth when singles by Jones and Chris Davis and a flyout by J.J. Hardy put runners at the corners with one out before Young delivered an RBI single.

Chirinos smacked a leadoff homer in the bottom of the inning to tie it at 2-2 but the Orioles broke it open in the eighth, going ahead on Joseph's run-scoring double off Ogando before Markakis and Manny Machado greeted Neal Cotts with RBI singles. Texas manager Ron Washington went to Tolleson to face Cruz, who slammed a long homer to deep left to turn it into a rout.

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GAME NOTEBOOK: Cruz, who left Sunday's game in Houston after taking a pitch off the left wrist, went deep for the ninth time in his last 14 games and boosted his major league-best RBI total to 55. ... Orioles RHP Ubaldo Jimenez allowed one run on four hits over 5 2/3 innings while Rangers LHP Joe Saunders yielded two runs on 10 hits over six-plus frames. ... Rangers LHP Matt Harrison underwent spinal fusion surgery Tuesday and is expected to miss the rest of the season. The former 18-game winner underwent back surgery in April 2013 and made four starts this season before his back issues flared up.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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