BALTIMORE (AP)—The Texas Rangers were ready each time Mark Hendrickson walked to the mound.
Ian Kinsler homered twice and Texas led off the first three innings with home runs against Hendrickson in a 6-5 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday night.
“In baseball, stuff like that happens. One guy can kill you and I hope I can be that guy,” said Kinsler, who is batting .398 (43-for-108) lifetime against Baltimore. “It gets them in a hole in a hurry.”
Andruw Jones and Chris Davis also connected against Hendrickson (1-3), who lasted only 4 1-3 innings. The Rangers, who have won four of six, lead the majors with 35 homers and have hit two or more 13 times this season.
“We have guys who hit the ball out of the ballpark. … And I’m glad we did. It set the tone,” manager Ron Washington said.
It was the first time since Oct. 2, 2004—when the Houston Astros accomplished the feat against Colorado’s Shawn Estes—that a team has led off the first three innings with home runs.
“You leave it over the heart of the plate with this lineup, especially, and they’re kind of free swingers,” Hendrickson said. “It’s a little bit all or nothing with their lineup.”
Scott Feldman (1-0), starting in place of injured right-hander Kris Benson, allowed a run and four hits over five innings in his first start this season. Feldman said he was told by Washington that he’d earned another start Thursday.
“The runs early helped,” Feldman said. “That’s the kind of offense we have. They can put up so many runs.”
Frank Francisco got the final two outs for his fourth save after Cesar Izturis’ RBI double off C.J. Wilson made it 6-3 in the ninth. Francisco yielded a two-run single to Adam Jones, then fanned Nick Markakis and retired Aubrey Huff on a fly to left.
“We needed one more hit to get back in it and came up short,” Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said.
Ty Wigginton homered and drove in two runs for the Orioles.
Texas center fielder Josh Hamilton left the game after 4 1/2 innings with inflammation near the left side of his rib cage. Hamilton hurt himself sliding into third base on a double steal and expects to play Sunday.
Kinsler hit Hendrickson’s 2-2 pitch in the first inning into the Baltimore bullpen for his sixth homer of the season and sixth career leadoff home run. It was the start of a trend: Rangers leadoff men got hits in the first six innings.
Davis ripped Hendrickson’s first pitch of the second into the left-field stands for a 2-0 lead. Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled and was erased on Elvis Andrus’ fielder’s choice before Kinsler connected again for a two-run shot.
Andruw Jones made it three straight innings with a leadoff homer in the third, depositing a changeup over the fence in center.
The Orioles cut it to 5-1 in the fourth, when Wigginton’s two-out single scored Markakis, who extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a double. Markakis has reached base safely in 26 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the majors.
Hendrickson departed in the fifth after Marlon Byrd’s sacrifice fly made it 6-1. He allowed five earned runs and eight hits.