Texas Rangers: Zach Britton

Beltre puts on a show against Orioles

July, 9, 2013
7/09/13
10:16
PM CT


BALTIMORE -- Adrian Beltre put on a show the Baltimore Orioles probably wish they’d missed.

Beltre hit two homers and finished 4-for-4 with five RBIs to help the Texas Rangers to an 8-4 victory over the Orioles Tuesday night at Camden Yards. He hit a solo shot in the second and added a key three-run homer in the fifth.

[+] EnlargeAdrian Beltre
AP Photo/Patrick SemanskyAdrian Beltre has now hit in 11 straight games and is batting .488 (21-for-43) during his recent hot streak.
That effort extended a recent hot streak for the Texas third baseman. He’s now hit in 11 straight games and is batting .488 (21-for-43) during that run. The four-hit, two-homer evening pushed Beltre’s average up to .319 this season.

He’s now got 20 homers and 52 RBIs. This was his 25th career multihomer game, and manager Ron Washington has certainly enjoyed the show in recent days.

“He’s the big guy in the middle of the lineup,” Washington said. “He’s the one guy that everyone looks to. He’s the one guy they want to be up there in those situations. When Adrian’s getting it done, it relaxes everybody else, and that’s usually what the big guy does in the middle of the lineup.”

Beltre’s big hit was a three-run homer during a four-run fifth inning that gave Texas the lead for good. The Rangers had scored once to tie the game before Beltre crushed his three-run shot off Baltimore starter Zach Britton.

“I was looking for a pitch up in the zone that I could drive, and that’s what I got,” Beltre said. “I’m seeing the ball good, seeing good pitches and driving the ball well.”

Beltre shrugged off talk that he’s the main cog in the Texas offensive engine. The Rangers have plenty of offensive punch, finishing with 14 hits and going 5-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

The Rangers now have scored 16 runs in the first two games of this series and are riding a three-game winning streak. Beltre said the team’s success comes because many players are contributing, and that he’s just been on a roll lately.

“We all contribute some way or another; I think we are good as a group,” Beltre said. “There's not one guy who can say he's the main guy. I think everybody's contributing right now. There's [just] a couple games that I'm contributing a lot better than I did before.”

Buzz: Josh Lindblom to start Wednesday

July, 9, 2013
7/09/13
5:29
PM CT
BALTIMORE, Md. -- Rangers manager Ron Washington said before Tuesday’s game that Josh Lindblom will get the start for Wednesday’s matchup with Baltimore.

Washington had said Monday that it would be either Lindblom or Ross Wolf. In Monday’s game, Wolf came in -- but threw just one pitch while Lindblom never entered as Washington said beforehand he wanted to see how or if either was needed in that contest.

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“[Lindblom's] been doing a good job in Triple-A, and I’d rather keep Wolf in his ... role in the bullpen,” Washington said. “Lindblom is the one who’s been getting a lot of starter’s innings, and we just want to keep him with that type of focus. If we had to use Wolf, we wouldn’t hesitate.”

Lindblom has a 1-2 record and a 4.50 ERA this season in seven games, four of which were starts.

In those starts, Lindblom is 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA. Lindblom said he’ll pitch in whatever role the Rangers want, but he’s been a starter most of the time.

“Pitching is pitching, no matter where you’re at,” Lindlbom. “You just go out and make pitches. In the last 10 days or so, I’ve kind of had to break routine, being in the bullpen, but stamina hasn’t gone down, nothing like that. It will be fun.”

Another new spot for Elvis: Monday night, Elvis Andrus batted seventh for the first time all season. Tuesday, he’ll take his first shot at hitting sixth.

Andrus will hit sixth against Baltimore starter Zach Britton, but Rangers fans shouldn’t read too much into it. Washington moved Andrus there to break up the bunch of left-handed hitters the Rangers have in the lineup.

Washington said he originally put Andrus second, but then decided to move Jurickson Profar into that spot and pushed the shortstop to sixth. Moving Andrus to the sixth spot lets Washington alternate lefties and righties from fifth through ninth in his starting lineup. But the skipper doesn't appear to want to make a habit of batting Andrus sixth.

“He won’t be there very long,” Washington said.

The Rangers have a lot of left-handed hitters, and Washington said it’s no secret the team would love to change that scenario.

“We’ve been talking about we’d like to get us another right-handed bat,” Washington said. “We’re a little left-handed heavy, so that’s obvious we need that.”

Number 30: Joe Nathan’s save in Monday’s 8-5 win over the Orioles was his 30th this season, tying him with Jim Johnson of the Orioles for the major league lead.

The 30 saves are a team record and career high before the All-Star break. In addition, Nathan was named to the American League All-Star team last weekend for a second consecutive season.

He’s one of only 13 pitchers to record 30 or more saves before the All-Star Game.

The right-hander’s clearly returned to form from the health issues that sidelined him in 2010 and slowed him the following season.

“I think last year...was more of a year to prove myself,” Nathan said. “This year was just more just trying to continue to go out and be healthy and be as consistent as I can for this club.”

Matchup: Martin Perez vs. Zach Britton

July, 9, 2013
7/09/13
1:00
PM CT
BALTIMORE, Md. -- The second game of this series will feature a pair of young left-handers trying to make their mark as Martin Perez takes the mound for the Texas Rangers against Zach Britton and the Baltimore Orioles. Game time is 6:05 p.m. on FSSW and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM (Deportes 1540 AM).

Perez (2-1, 1.85 ERA): The left-hander is 2-0 with an 0.95 ERA in three starts since his second recall of the season. ... Perez, 22, gave up only two earned runs in 19 innings in those outings. ... He hasn’t given up an earned run in his last 17 innings pitches. ... Perez had a no-decision in his last start Thursday vs. Seattle, allowing one unearned run on eight hits in 5 S innings. ... He’s gone at least five innings and allowed two or less runs in three consecutive starts, which is tied for third-best by a Rangers pitcher this season. Perez has never faced the Orioles.

Britton (2-2, 4.03): Britton is fighting for a spot in an already crowded Baltimore starting rotation. ... The 25-year old left-hander is coming off of his best start of the season, a solid seven-inning effort against the White Sox on July 4 where he gave up two runs on six hits in seven innings -- but got a no-decision. ... He’s made four starts since being recalled, improving in each one. ... Britton has made only one career start against the Rangers, throwing 7 T scoreless innings to win on April 9, 2011.

Hitters: The Rangers haven’t seen much of Britton. Nelson Cruz is the only Ranger with a hit, and he’s 1-for-2 with a run scored. Alexi Casilla is the lone Oriole to hit against Perez, and the second baseman is 0-for-2.

Rapid Reaction: Orioles 5, Rangers 0

April, 9, 2011
4/09/11
5:59
PM CT


The Rangers suffered their first defeat of the season Saturday, drawing a blank against Weatherford's Zach Britton in falling 5-0 to the Orioles in the first game of a doubleheader at Baltimore.

Britton, a rookie making his second start, was solid against the Rangers lineup, allowing four hits and no runs 7 2/3 innings while walking three and striking out two.

Rangers starter Colby Lewis had command issues in allowing five runs, four of them earned. Nick Markakis, the second batter of the game for the Orioles, took him deep down the right-field line. Mark Reynolds bashed a three-run shot off Lewis the following inning.

The loss kept the Rangers from matching franchise-record start of the 1996 team, which went 7-0.

Matt Harrison takes the mound for the Rangers in the nightcap against Plano East and TCU product Jake Arrieta.

Mound Matchup: Colby Lewis-Zach Britton

April, 8, 2011
4/08/11
12:30
PM CT
The Rangers head on the road for the first time in 2011 (we'll be in Detroit and New York live chatting and blogging next week, by the way). To start things off in Baltimore tonight, RHP Colby Lewis takes the hill against LHP Zach Britton. A quick glance at the matchups:

Lewis (1-0, 4.50 ERA): Pitched a quality start against the Red Sox in the second game of the season, giving up three runs on in six innings. ...Built plenty of confidence over the offseason thanks to a sterling performance against the Yankees in the ALCS, winning Game 2 and Game 6. In fact, he's 5-0 with a 2.28 ERA in his last seven starts if you include the 2010 playoffs. ...Lewis is 0-2 with a 6.14 ERA in his career against the Orioles (14 2/3 innings, 2 starts, 2 relief outings). ...Last year, Lewis' home ERA was 3.41 and the road it was 3.95.

Britton (1-0, 1.50 ERA): In his debut, the 23-year-old sinkerballer from Weatherford, Texas, threw more off-speed stuff to beat the Rays. He went six innings and allowed just one run on three hits with six strikeouts and three walks. ...Britton joined the rotation just after Opening Day after Brian Matusz was placed on the 15-day disabled list (intercostal muscle strain). ...He led the Orioles rotation in the spring with a 1.35 ERA.

Hitters: Matt Wieters is 2-for-3 against Lewis, but the righty has held Adam Jones and Nick Markakis to 0-for-3 each. ...Britton has never faced the Rangers.

Upcoming matchups:

Saturday: LHP Matt Harrison (1-0, 1.29 ERA) vs. RHP Jake Arrieta (1-0, 1.50 ERA)
Sunday: LHP Derek Holland (1-0, 4.50 ERA) vs. TBD

Weather forecast for tonight: Cloudy with a 60 percent chance of rain (as of Friday morning). Click here for updated details from weather.com

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Adrian Beltre
BA HR RBI R
.324 19 77 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
WC. Lewis 10
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182