- Associated Press - Friday, April 15, 2016

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Chris Tillman had some tough luck, and now the Orioles have a second straight loss following the best start since they moved to Baltimore 62 years ago.

Tillman surrendered a sky-high bloop double and a weak infield flare among four run-scoring hits in a five-run Texas sixth, and the Rangers preserved Cole Hamels’ career-best nine-game winning streak by rallying for a 6-3 victory over the Orioles on Thursday night.

“Not a whole lot you can do,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. “You make good pitches and they hit them into places that you can’t defend.”

Rougned Odor had a tiebreaking two-run double as part of the rally, and the second baseman added yet another spectacular defensive play to help keep the Rangers in front and give the Orioles another loss after a 7-0 start, their best since relocating to Baltimore in 1954.

“I think the key to the game is all the defensive plays they made,” Showalter said.

The Rangers had four consecutive run-scoring hits in the sixth, starting with Mitch Moreland’s soaring bloop double that somehow landed near the foul line between left fielder Joey Rickard and shortstop J.J. Hardy.

Ian Desmond followed by snapping a 0-for-16 slump with an infield flare, and Odor brought home two with an opposite-field drive into the left-field corner before Mychal Givens replaced Tillman and gave up a run-scoring single to Elvis Andrus.

“That kind of stuff happens and you’ve got to continue making pitches,” said Tillman (1-1), who gave up nine hits and six runs in 5 1/3 innings the night before his 28th birthday. “No matter what happens, you’ve got to go out and make another pitch and make another pitch.”

Hamels struggled after retiring the first eight hitters and left facing a 3-1 deficit in the sixth. After Tom Wilhelmsen (1-0) kept the Rangers close by getting an inning-ending double play, five straight Texas hitters reached in the sixth.

“For Wilhelmsen to get that groundball double play, that sparks our guys,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “Our hitters see that type of pitch and they want to respond.”

Mark Trumbo hit his third homer for the Orioles.

The Texas bullpen threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings with big assists from Odor and third baseman Adrian Beltre.

Odor snared Matt Wieters’ one-hop line drive that bounced a few feet in front of him to start an inning-ending double play for Sam Dyson in the eighth. Beltre threw out Jonathan Schoop from foul ground behind the bag for the second out in the ninth before closer Shawn Tolleson finished off his third save.

“Just being able to have the type of defense we had today definitely saved a lot of runs in a sense,” said Hamels, who gave up seven hits and three runs in 5 1/3 innings while remaining 6-0 in Arlington since the trading deadline deal with Philadelphia last year.

Texas rookie Nomar Mazara continued his hot start with two hits, including a double that started the sixth-inning rally.

Baltimore’s Manny Machado extended his season-opening hitting streak to nine games with a single in the seventh.

JONESING TO PLAY

Orioles center field Adam Jones was back in the lineup after not getting an at-bat in six straight games because of a rib injury. He played in the first two games of the season but was limited to a pair of games as a defensive replacement before coming to Texas. He went 0 for 4. “I’m fine,” he said. “It doesn’t matter about me. It’s about the team.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: RHP Yu Darvish said he’s “not quite there yet” in several aspects of his pitching as he closes in on a return from Tommy John surgery. On Wednesday, he had his first batting practice session since surgery in March 2015, reporting no problems but also saying cooler temperatures prevented him from getting completely loose.

UP NEXT

Orioles: RHP Vance Worley (0-0, 3.86) makes his second career start against Texas. He took the loss with Minnesota on April 25, 2013, giving up six hits and two runs in five innings.

Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (0-1, 3.65) retired the first 14 hitters in his only start against Baltimore last season, getting the win in a 4-3 Texas victory. Steve Pearce ended Perez’s 41 1/3-inning homerless streak in a three-run fifth.


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