Rapid Reaction: Orioles 8, Rangers 3

June, 3, 2014
Jun 3
10:23
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Baltimore Orioles defeated the Texas Rangers 8-3 on Tuesday. Some quick thoughts:

How it happened: The Orioles scored six runs in the eighth inning, three of them off the bat of Nelson Cruz, to break open a tie game and get the win. The Rangers had tied the game in the seventh, but Baltimore immediately retook the lead and control of the game.

What it means: Texas drops to .500 and has lost three of its past four games. Seattle's win means the Rangers are fourth in the division.

Rough eighth: In a tie game, Alexi Ogando let things slip away. With one out, he gave up an infield single to Delmon Young, hit Jonathan Schoop on the shoulder and then gave up an 0-2 double to No. 9 hitter Caleb Joseph, who came in with a .069 batting average. Ogando only gave up two runs but set in motion a tumultuous inning. Neal Cotts and Shawn Tolleson couldn't stop the Orioles either.

Cruz missile: Cruz didn't disappoint in his return to Arlington, crushing the first pitch he saw from Tolleson many rows deep in left field. It was estimated at 404 feet. Cruz knew it was gone as soon as he hit it and took his time going around the bases. He heard some cheers and then caused a bunch of fans to head for the exits with the Orioles up 8-2.

Most of the Rangers' fans gave Nelson Cruz a nice reception each time he walked to the plate. More on that here.

Relief star: Jason Frasor came in and made sure the Orioles didn't increase their slim lead in the seventh. With runners on at first and second with no outs, Frasor struck Manny Machado out looking (after Machado didn't get a bunt down on two attempts), got Cruz out with a 93 mph fastball on a 3-2 pitch that jammed him and retired Chris Davis on a fly ball to right with the bases loaded. That kept the Rangers' deficit to just one run.

Catching power: Robinson Chirinos made sure Frasor's terrific seventh inning was a momentum builder as he hit a home run to lead off the bottom half of the inning. Chirinos' ball went out 383 feet to left-center. Cruz went back and stood against the wall but didn't have a chance to get it.

Wasted chances: The Rangers had a runner in scoring position in the fifth and sixth but couldn't get a run. Chirinos doubled to start the fifth and went to third on Rougned Odor's bunt. But Shin-Soo Choo and Elvis Andrus both struck out to end the inning. Alex Rios' one-out walk in the sixth put Adrian Beltre at second base, but Michael Choice popped out and Leonys Martin grounded out.

Big back up: Chirinos made a key stop on an errant throw from Rios in right field. The throw was high and wide of Mitch Moreland at first, and Chirinos was able to catch it on a bounce before it went into the camera well beside the Rangers' dugout. That play kept J.J. Hardy at first base, and he was not able to score on Schoop's double. Backing up a throw might seem like a little thing, but it was a big deal in that inning.

Great gloves: The Orioles showed why they are the best defensive team in the league. Two plays in the third inning were particularly impressive, as Davis made a diving stop to his right and flipped to first to get Choo. Shortstop Hardy made a backhand stab in the hole and threw to first to barely get Andrus. Manager Ron Washington came out to argue briefly, but replays showed Andrus was out. Odor showed off his glove too, making a couple of nice plays charging the ball on bouncers to second.

Up next: RHP Nick Martinez (1-1, 2.75 ERA) is on the mound for the Rangers. RHP Bud Norris (3-5, 4.04 ERA) is on the hill for the Orioles.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Yu Darvish
WINS ERA SO IP
10 3.06 182 144
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .323
HRA. Beltre 17
RBIA. Beltre 65
RA. Beltre 64
OPSA. Beltre .879
ERAY. Darvish 3.06
SOY. Darvish 182