ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Luis Matos waited until his last at-bat
to snap a slump and keep up his torrid hitting against the Texas
Matos, batting .492 (31-for-63) in his last 16 games against
Texas, drove in the go-ahead run with a double in the ninth inning
to lift the Baltimore Orioles to their fourth straight victory, a
4-3 win over the Rangers on Tuesday night.
"We've been struggling hitting but we're winning," said Matos,
who is hitting .432 (32-for-74) in his career against Texas, but
was in a 2-for-24 overall slide when he came to bat in the ninth.
"The pitchers, they're doing their job and we step it up when we
have to. That's how you start winning a lot of games, when you get
Walter Young led off the ninth with a single off reliever C.J.
Wilson (1-7). Pinch-runner Ed Rogers went to second on Chris
Gomez's sacrifice bunt.
"It was just time for somebody to step up and Luis did," said
Orioles interim manager Sam Perlozzo, who is 18-19 since taking
over on Aug. 4. "He had been struggling a little bit so that's a
big hit for him. Hopefully that gets his confidence back."
Wilson allowed one run and one hit in 1 1/3 innings.
Maine gave up Mench's 25th homer in the second and Blalock's
24th in the seventh, but held the rest of the Rangers hitless in
his fifth major league start.
Maine, called up from Triple-A Ottawa on Aug. 13, struck out two
and walked three.
"To take us into the seventh against an offensive club like
[Texas], that was huge for John," Perlozzo said.
Walter Young hit his first major league homer in his fifth game,
a solo shot in the seventh that gave the Orioles a 3-1 lead.
R.A. Dickey, making his first major league start of the season
and 29th of his career, allowed three runs and five hits in seven
innings for Texas. Dickey struck out five and walked three in his
big league debut as a knuckleballer.
"I was impressed," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. "I'll
take that every time out. That was a good starting spot. You didn't
see a lot of confident swings out there."
Dickey switched to the knuckleball after coming down with right
arm inflammation in April. When the sore arm improved, the
30-year-old right-hander began working on his knuckler at Triple-A
Oklahoma, where he was 8-1 as a starter after going primarily with
The first three batters Dickey faced reached base -- singles by
Bernie Castro and Melvin Mora and a walk to Miguel Tejada. Castro
scored from third when Jay Gibbons hit into a double play, and Javy
Lopez's RBI single made it 2-0.
"It was a different atmosphere," Dickey said. "Different
wind, the balls are harder than Triple-A, so it took a little
adaptation on the fly. I was pleased with the way I pitched but you
always hate losing."
Blalock's homer extended the Rangers' club record to 143 homers
at Ameriquest Field. Texas, which leads the majors with 243 homers,
is six short of matching the major league record for home runs in a
home park set by the Colorado Rockies in 1996.
The American League record of 145 at home was established last
season by the Chicago White Sox.
Maine has allowed three runs or less in each of his five
starts. ... Blalock had gone 35 games and 140 at-bats without a
homer. ... Rangers SS Michael Young committed his ninth error in 22
games. He made nine in his first 116 games. Young, the AL's batting
leader at .329, went 1-for-4. ... Esteban German made his major
league debut for Texas as a pinch runner in the ninth.