Odor HR in 6-run 1st inning, Rangers beat Orioles 9-4
The broader goal for Texas is to maintain that momentum heading into the final three weeks of the season.
Odor homered during a six-run first inning and Texas cruised to its third straight victory over the Baltimore Orioles, 9-4 Saturday night.
Texas won its first road series since June 25-27, having gone 0-9-2 over that stretch.
“Odor had the big home run,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “That inning was huge when we know we’re going into a bullpen day and we’re up 6-0.”
Reliever Yohander Mendez (1-0) picked up the win after entering the third and allowing one run with six strikeouts over 2 1/3 innings.
“I always try to do the best I can and see the result,” Mendez said. “I tried to attack with my fastball early, then finish with my changeup and my slider.”
Anthony Santander went 1 for 5 with an RBI, extending his hitting streak to 12 games, and Rio Ruiz homered for the Orioles, who have lost seven of eight.
Baltimore starter Aaron Brooks (4-8) hit a batter, issued a walk and allowed a single to start the game. He had a throwing error on a grounder by Nick Solak that allowed the first run to score.
Danny Santana followed with a two-run single and Odor, who entered the game batting .197, hit a three-run homer that boosted the lead to 6-0. Odor finished with three hits.
After a throwing error by Santana on a potential double play, Santander gave the Orioles their first run with a single off Jonathan Hernandez, who was making his first major league starts. A wild pitch and a sacrifice fly by Mason Williams cut the margin to 6-3.
An RBI single by Delino DeShields in the third gave the Rangers a 7-3 lead and ended Brooks’ night.
“Just a little out of sync,” Brooks said. “It’s one of those days that was a struggle to get the ball where I wanted it to go. Fall behind that early in the game, it’s tough to come back.”
Ruiz pulled Baltimore to within 7-4 when he led off the fourth with a homer against Mendez.
“Mendez has a great arm,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “Nice to see Rio take him deep, but other than that we really didn’t do anything off him.”
The Rangers added two more runs in the sixth on a single by Ronald Guzman that went under the glove of left fielder Dwight Smith Jr. that allowed DeShields to score and Jeff Mathis followed with an RBI double off Chandler Shepherd.
Home plate umpire Jim Reynolds had to leave the game in the first after being hit on the wrist by a pitch from Brooks. First base umpire Sean Barber moved behind the plate.
The Rangers have used a club-record 18 starting pitchers this season.
Orioles: OF Austin Hays, one of the club’s top prospects, was activated Saturday as part of the expanded roster. Hays entered as a pinch-hitter in the sixth and struck twice, but made a diving catch in center field.
Rangers: LHP Joe Palumbo has not pitched since Aug. 20 because of a blister on his thumb. He played catch for the first time Thursday and could rejoin the club before the end of the season. “He’s not going to be built up to start eight innings, but at least he can go out and pitch,” Woodward said.
Rangers: LHP Mike Minor (12-8, 3.12 ERA) picked up the win after throwing 7 1/3 scoreless inning against the Yankees in his last start. He had allowed 11 runs over his previous two outing outings (12 1/3 innings).
Orioles: Asher Wojciechowski (2-7, 5.12 ERA) is looking for his first win since July 26, a span of six appearances, including four starts.
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