BALTIMORE, MD—Single, single, two-run double. Scott Feldman faced only three batters before giving away the lead the Texas Rangers provided him in the top of the first inning.
By the time he got three outs, the Baltimore Orioles scored three runs.
“I just told myself, ‘Hold them there. Get as deep in the game as you can.’ Hopefully, we can score more than three,” Feldman said.
Feldman held the Orioles in check until Ian Kinsler homered in the sixth inning to give the Rangers the lead in a 5-3 victory Saturday night.
Moved up in the rotation after Eric Hurley was scratched with a hamstring injury, Feldman (3-3) gave up three runs and five hits in six innings. After allowing three hits in the first, he blanked the Orioles on two singles until his departure.
“That is what we needed. They got to him in the first inning, then he settled down and he started making pitches when he had to,” Texas manager Ron Washington said. “They kept teasing us like they were about to do something, and he’d make a pitch and he’d get out of the inning.”
Feldman left with a 4-3 lead, and the bullpen preserved the advantage. The right-hander has two wins in six days after going eight consecutive starts without one.
“I was obviously (annoyed) at myself for giving up three runs right there,” Feldman said.
“I definitely thought we’d score more than the three we got in the first inning,” Orioles left fielder Jay Payton said. “He got us out. He started using his breaking ball a little bit more and he was locating his heater a little better. We weren’t able to square him up the way we did in the first inning when we got to him.”
Kinsler went 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 17 games and boost his AL-leading batting average to .328.
Texas trailed 3-2 in the sixth before German Duran’s third hit, a two-out double, chased starter Brian Burres. Lance Cormier (1-3) entered and threw three straight balls before Kinsler hit a 3-1 pitch into the left-field seats. It was his 14th home run, the fourth during his 17-game run.
“He fell behind. He gave me the opportunity to swing at a couple of pitches aggressively,” Kinsler said. “I don’t know if you could tell, (but) I was trying to hit the ball out of the ballpark. The 3-1 pitch, I shortened my swing a little bit more. I was still trying to do some damage. I was trying to either tie it up or hit it out of the ballpark, and the ball was up.”
Baltimore got runners on the corners with two outs in the seventh before Frank Francisco retired Aubrey Huff on a grounder. Texas then scored an eighth-inning run on a double-play grounder by Michael Young, and C.J. Wilson struck out the side in the ninth for his 20th save in 22 tries.
Nick Markakis had two hits and two RBIs for the Orioles, who fell to 5-28 when scoring three runs or fewer. Burres allowed three runs and nine hits in 5 1-3 innings, the sixth time in seven starts he failed to go six innings.
“I didn’t have my best stuff at all today,” Burres said.
The Rangers’ first two batters produced a run when Kinsler doubled and scored on a single by Young, who finished with three hits. Josh Hamilton followed with a single, and Texas loaded the bases with two outs before Chris Davis fouled out.
Baltimore fared even better in the bottom half. Brian Roberts and Payton singled and Markakis hit a two-run double before Feldman got the first out. Kevin Millar then walked and Melvin Mora hit a sacrifice fly.
“Give Feldman a lot of credit because he settled down,” Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. “I thought both he and Burres were pitching too much in the middle of the plate early in the game, and Feldman made some adjustments.”
Duran doubled and scored on a single by Hamilton in the second, but Texas stranded a runner in scoring position in the next two innings. In the fifth, Mora made two sensational plays at third base, leaping to snare a rising liner hit by Milton Bradley before diving to his right to grab a line drive from Brandon Boggs.