Orioles 5, Rangers 3

Rangers starting pitcher Scott Feldman worked out of a rough

stretch in May and June when he lost six straight by reeling off

six consecutive victories.

After a 5-3 loss to the Orioles on Tuesday in which he gave up

five runs on seven hits over five innings, he’s now dropped three

in a row.

No reason to panic, his manager said, even after the Rangers’

right-hander gave up two big run-scoring hits with two outs,

including Nate McLouth’s two-run home run, in the Orioles’ decisive

four-run fifth inning.

Manny Machado had a run-scoring triple and J.J. Hardy’s two-out

double plated another run for Baltimore in the inning, which was

followed with two shutdown innings by Chris Tillman (6-2).

”I think if there’s any pitch he’d want to take back in that

inning, it would be the one to McLouth,” manager Ron Washington

said. ”But other than that, there was no indication they were

going to put four runs on the board, because both he and Tillman

were pitching very well.”

Tillman worked 6 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on six hits

while striking out seven before giving way to the bullpen, which

now has a 1.57 ERA in the last 18 games.

The Orioles’ right-hander kept Rangers hitters off-balance with

effective off-speed pitches and good command of his fastball.

That follows a performance two years ago in which Tillman held

the Rangers to two runs on two hits and a walk over a career-high 7

1/3 innings.

Tillman has held the Rangers to a .203 average in three

starts.

”It ain’t easy,” said Tillman, who improved to 6-2 on the

season with a 3.71 ERA and 4-1 on the road.

”These guys have a great lineup and you have to respect that

whether you’re ahead or behind.”

Jim Johnson worked a scoreless ninth to pick up his 38th

save.

”Chris was good,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. ”He

had command of the breaking ball early, and threw the fastball on

both sides of the plate.”

The Rangers scored two on Geovany Soto’s two-run homer in the

seventh inning to close a 5-1 deficit to two and then put the tying

run on base, but Pedro Strop struck out Josh Hamilton on a slider

to end the threat.

David Murphy, 10 for 19 with a homer and three doubles and six

RBI in his previous five games, went 1 for 4 on Tuesday, including

a groundout with a runner on base to end the Rangers’ half of the

eighth.

”Pedy got a couple of big outs for us,” Showalter said. The

bullpen ”has been a constant for us. We’ve been able to share the

load and pass it around.

”We’ve got a lot of people we have confidence in.”

Feldman struck out four and walked one while ending a string of

good performances by Rangers pitching, which entered Tuesday having

allowed two runs or less in three consecutive games and just four

total in the three-game winning streak.

The starting rotation had posted a 2.96 ERA in the previous

seven games.

”I thought he made a real good pitch to Hardy and he went down

and poked it to right field,” Washington said. ”That’s a part of

baseball, I think Scott has been throwing the ball really well.

That’s just the way it went tonight.”

The AL West-division leading Rangers lost a game to Los Angeles

in the standings and lead the Angels by eight games. Oakland, which

started the evening six back, were playing late at home against

Minnesota.

The Orioles broke loose for four runs in the fifth. Machado’s

triple scored Omar Quintanilla and McLouth sent a Feldman pitch

into the left-field seats for a two-run home run that made the

score 5-1.

”All you’re trying to do in that situation is limit the

damage,” Feldman said. ”Even after giving up that hit to Hardy,

we’re still in the game. I just made a bad pitch to McLouth.”

The Rangers’ Ian Kinsler hit his 14th home run of the season to

tie the game in the third on a 1-0 pitch.

Orioles took a first-inning lead by scoring an unearned run with

two outs.

McLouth walked, stole second and advanced to third on an error

when Geovany Soto’s throw sailed into center field. He scored on

Feldman’s wild pitch.

Notes: Entering the game, three of the top 22 qualifiers in ERA

as relievers in the AL were Orioles. Pedro Strop (2nd, 1.49),

Darren O’Day (17th, 2.49) and Troy Patton (22nd, 2.58). . The

Rangers’ Adrian Beltre, hitting .235 in his previous 30 games, went

2 for 4 on Tuesday. . The Orioles have won 12 consecutive one-run

games. The franchise has done that on three other occasions, 1964,

1970 and 1979. Baltimore went to the World Series in 1970 and `79

and won 97 games and finished two games back of eventual World

Series champion New York Yankees in `64. . Rangers reliever Michael

Kirkman extended a scoreless innings streak to seven in his last

six games after holding the Orioles to no runs in two innings.

Kirkman also has stranded 11 of the last 13 inherited runners,

including three in a game three times.