ARLINGTON (AP) – Elvis Andrus hustled home with the go-ahead run in the seventh, the same inning that he made two spectacular defensive plays, and the Texas Rangers went on to a 4-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night.
When Josh Hamilton singled to score Yorvit Torrealba in the seventh, Andrus ran from first on the play and went headfirst into third ahead of left fielder Nolan Reimold’s throw that ricocheted off the runner toward the Baltimore dugout. Andrus scrambled to his feet and ran home to put Texas up 3-2.
The top of the seventh ended on an acrobatic double play by Andrus, who got the ball from second baseman Ian Kinsler and had to hurdle over a sliding Adam Jones. After his feet came back to the ground, Andrus threw off balance, still in time to get Vladimir Guerrero. On the play before that, Andrus went deep in the hole to backhand Jones’ grounder and get a force at second.
Tommy Hunter (1-0) worked an inning after taking over for starter Matt Harrison. Hunter was a 13-game winner last season who was supposed to be in the rotation again this year before being slowed by a right groin strain the last week of spring training. It was his second relief appearance since being activated from the disabled list Friday.
Neftali Feliz worked a perfect ninth for his 17th save in 21 chances.
Jim Johnson (5-2) had allowed only five earned runs his last 25 appearances before giving up three runs, two earned, in the seventh.
Mitch Atkins, called up from Triple-A Norfolk to make the start for Baltimore, allowed one run over six innings. The right-hander struck out four with no walks in his first major league start, and eighth major league appearance.
Before reigning AL MVP Hamilton batted with two outs in the seventh, pitching coach Rick Adair visited the mound. Johnson threw three consecutive balls before Hamilton took a strike and then singled the opposite way on the next pitch. Hamilton scored on Adrian Beltre’s double to deep center.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter once, as manager of Arizona, intentionally walked Barry Bonds with the bases loaded. But Hamilton got a pitch to hit.
J.J. Hardy and Matt Wieters had solo homers for Baltimore. Hardy started the game with his third leadoff homer this season, his 13th overall, and Wieters started the fourth with his eighth.
Harrison gave up 11 hits, the last a single starting the seventh to Nick Markakis, one of five different Baltimore players with two hits off the Rangers left-hander. Harrison struck out five with no walks.
Nelson Cruz had an RBI single for Texas in the sixth.
Notes: Rangers RHP Alexi Ogando (8-3) has already thrown 97 2-3 innings, more than he has in any other professional season. After starting Wednesday, he isn’t likely to pitch in another game until July 19, the Rangers’ fifth game after the All-Star break. … The temperature was 102 degrees at first pitch, the highest at Rangers Ballpark this season. … Texas 1B Mike Napoli paid for betting against the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA finals. Someone else got to pick his walk-up music Tuesday night. Among the selections: “Man, I Feel Like A Woman” and “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” Napoli grounded into a double play and struck out twice while going 0 for 4.
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