Rangers rally to get past Orioles

BY foxsports • April 28, 2009

The Texas Rangers hadn't overcome a deficit of more than two runs this season, so when they fell behind by four in the second inning against Baltimore, two things had to happen: Matt Harrison needed to pitch better, and the potent Texas lineup had to start producing.

Check, and check.

Michael Young homered, David Murphy broke a tie with a two-run single in the sixth inning and the Rangers rallied to beat the Orioles 6-4 Monday night.

Harrison (1-2) gave up four runs before getting four outs, then retired 16 straight batters before Robert Andino hit a two-out single in the seventh. The left-hander allowed seven hits in seven innings to earn his first win in four starts.

"The night definitely belongs to Matt Harrison," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "They got four off him in the first two innings, and he settled down, kept the team in it, gave us a chance to come back."

Harrison looked like a different pitcher after the second inning, quite by design.

"I was trying to change the tempo of my delivery and attack a little bit more," he said. "I was able to keep the ball down and I just kind of got in a groove."

Texas scored all its runs off Jeremy Guthrie and Matt Albers (0-1). The Rangers took three of four from the Orioles to hand Baltimore its first home series loss.

"Sometimes we get in a hole and we don't come back. You can't expect us to do it every single night," Murphy said. "But this team has shown over and over again that we have that never-say-die attitude. We know that we're never out of any game."

Texas closed to 4-1 in the fourth when Hank Blalock doubled and scored on a single by Marlon Byrd. Young hit his sixth homer in the fifth after Murphy hit a two-out single.

Orioles manager Dave Trembley then asked Albers to preserve the lead in the sixth.

"At that point in time, it was critical to put a zero up right then and there to change the momentum back on our side," Trembley said. "It didn't happen."

Albers allowed five of the seven batters he faced to reach base. Blalock singled and Chris Davis walked before Taylor Teagarden hit an RBI single. Ian Kinsler drew a two-out walk before Murphy lined a single to center.

"It's definitely a situation I wanted to be in right there," Murphy said. "All you need is a single in that situation; that's all I tried to do."

Said Albers: "We had the lead, I came in and didn't hold it. I just didn't make pitches when I needed to."

Frank Francisco worked the ninth to earn his fifth save and third in the series. Francisco got two straight outs, then hit Lou Montanez with a pitch and gave up a single to Gregg Zaun before striking out Andino on a 3-2 pitch.

Guthrie allowed three runs, six hits and a walk in five innings. He threw 101 pitches, including 37 in the first.

"It definitely wore on me a little bit," Guthrie said of the long first inning. "But I got through it and had a couple of nice innings after it. They just put some nice at-bats together in the fourth and fifth."

Guthrie needed 21 pitches to retire the first two batters and had 15 pitches fouled off in the opening inning. In the bottom half, Aubrey Huff singled in a run for a 1-0 lead.

Andino hit an RBI single and Brian Roberts singled in two runs to make it 4-0 in the second, but that would be the extent of the Baltimore offense.

"I know a four-run lead for these guys ain't nothing," Harrison said of his teammates. "I know they're going to come back. At that point, I was just trying to hold the lead where it was."


The Rangers played without center fielder Josh Hamilton, who was out of the starting lineup for a second straight game with bruised ribs. ... Texas hit 10 home runs in the four-game series. The Rangers lead the majors with 39 homers. ... Baltimore's Nick Markakis extended his hitting streak to 14 games.

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