Beltre clubs two homers as hot Rangers whip Orioles


By DAVID GINSBURG

AP Sports Writer

BALTIMORE — The way Adrian Beltre has been hitting the baseball lately, it seems hard to imagine he recently endured 22 straight games without a home run.

Beltre went 4 for 4 with two homers and a season-high five RBIs to help the surging Texas Rangers beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-4 Tuesday night.

Beltre hit a solo shot in the second inning and a three-run drive in the fifth, both off Zach Britton (2-3). Beltre has six home runs in his last six games and is batting .488 (21 for 43) during an 11-game hitting streak that began on June 28.

He also singled in the fourth, received an intentional walk in the seventh and delivered an RBI single in the ninth. The two homers gave him 20 for the season and put him in a tie with teammate Lance Berkman for 74th on the career list with 366, according to the Rangers.

Before his current power surge, Beltre went from June 10 to July 3 without launching a ball out of the park. It was his longest home-run drought since he joined the Rangers in 2011.

“He’s been hot and cold and he’s picked it up again. He picked it up at the right time,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “When Adrian is getting it done it usually relaxes everybody else. That is what the big guy does in the middle of the lineup.”

With Beltre leading the way, Texas has won 14 of 19 to move a season-high 16 games over .500 (53-37) — tied for the second-best record in franchise history after 90 games. The Rangers have scored at least five runs in six straight games and have won four in a row on the road.

“We were having trouble driving in runs and all of a sudden Adrian started driving them in and everybody started relaxing,” Washington said. “Now we’re putting runs on the board. I hope it can continue.”

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

Manny Machado homered for the Orioles, who have lost six of eight. Baltimore is 3-12 in its last 15 regular-season games against Texas.

After going 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position in a loss to Texas on Monday, the Orioles were 2 for 7 in that situation on Tuesday. Their biggest problem on this night was containing Beltre.

“You know he’s a good hitter, and then when you make bad pitches on top of that he’s not going to miss them,” manager Buck Showalter said.

Britton gave up five runs and eight hits in five innings. After the game, he was optioned along with reliever Kevin Gausman to Triple-A Norfolk. The corresponding moves will be announced Wednesday, with one of them being the activation of left-hander Wei-Yin Chen from the disabled list.

Martin Perez (3-1) allowed four runs, two earned, and six hits in six-plus innings for the Rangers. The left-hander is 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA in four starts since being recalled from Triple-A Round Rock on June 22.

“I can’t finish the seventh inning but I’m happy what I’m doing tonight,” Perez said.

Perez, who came in with a run of 17 straight scoreless innings, added to the total with a perfect first. But the streak ended in the second when the Orioles used singles by Matt Wieters, Nate McLouth and Brian Roberts to pull even at 1.

Machado hit a solo drive in the third, his seventh of the season and only the second since May 5.

Texas went up 5-2 in the fifth. After Nelson Cruz singled in a run, Beltre hit a shot into the left-field seats for his 25th career multihomer game.

“I was looking for a pitch up in the zone that I could drive, and that’s what I got,” he said.

The Orioles closed to 5-4 in their half of the fifth. Two botched grounders preceded a two-out, two-run single by J.J. Hardy.

The Rangers added two runs in seventh. Leonys Martin walked and scored on a double by Jurickson Profar, and A.J. Pierzynski hit an RBI single following an intentional walk to Beltre.

BRAVES 6, MARLINS 4

MIAMI — Justin Upton homered, doubled twice and scored three runs to help the Atlanta Braves earn their 27th comeback victory with a 6-4 win over the Miami Marlins.

The Braves, who lead the NL in come-from-behind wins, overcame deficits of 3-1 and 4-3.

Pitchers for the two teams combined to retire 30 consecutive batters Monday, when Atlanta won 7-1 in 14 innings. But the second game of the series was a slugfest, with Upton leading the way.

He doubled home a run in the third, doubled and scored to make it 4-all in the fifth, then hit his 16th home run — but first since June 12 — leading off the seventh against reliever Ryan Webb.

In Monday’s marathon, Upton hit a two-run double to put Atlanta ahead in the final inning.

Julio Teheran (7-4) allowed one earned run in 7 1-3 innings. All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth for his 24th save in 27 chances, and Atlanta improved to 12-2 at Marlins Park since it opened in 2012.

Henderson Alvarez (0-1) allowed five runs, four earned, in six innings for Miami.

PHILLIES 4

NATIONALS 2

PHILADELPHIA — Cole Hamels threw eight sharp innings, Michael Young hit a two-run double and Philadelphia beat Washington for its third straight win.

Hamels (4-11) allowed one run and six hits to win consecutive starts for the first time this season. The Phillies have won six of their past eight games.

Jayson Werth hit a solo homer for Washington. The defending NL East champs have lost two straight and are only 1½ games ahead of third-place Philadelphia.

Making his third career start, Taylor Jordan (0-2) gave up four runs — three earned — and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings for the Nats.

BREWERS 2, REDS 0

MILWAUKEE — Wily Peralta tossed a three-hitter for his first career shutout and Logan Schafer hit his first homer, a two-run shot that lifted Milwaukee to a victory over Cincinnati.

Peralta (6-9), whose start was pushed back from Sunday to give his aching left hamstring a couple extra days of rest, struck out six and walked four for his first complete game. It also was the Brewers’ first shutout and complete game of the season.

Tony Cingrani (3-1), was almost as effective as Peralta, allowing only two singles and Schafer’s home run, striking out 10 and walking two in seven innings.

Schafer was a last-minute replacement for Norichika Aoki.

INTERLEAGUE

CUBS 7, ANGELS 2

CHICAGO — Alfonso Soriano hit two of the Cubs’ season high five home runs and Travis Wood earned his first win in nearly six weeks in a victory over Los Angeles.

Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney also homered for Chicago.

Wood (6-6) gave up four hits over 6 2-3 innings and retired 14 straight from the second inning into the sixth for his first victory since May 30.

Rizzo and Soriano hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning, Castro hit a solo homer to center in the third and Barney hit a three-run homer in the sixth. All came off Joe Blanton (2-11), who leads the majors in losses.

 

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