BALTIMORE (AP) – It’s difficult to put too much blame on the offense in an 8-5 defeat, yet the Baltimore Orioles couldn’t help lamenting their failure to perform in the clutch against the Texas Rangers.
Baltimore stranded 10 runners and went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position Monday night. That was more a topic of conversation in the clubhouse than Scott Feldman’s uneven pitching performance in his Camden Yards debut with the Orioles.
“We had our chances. We were able to get guys on with no outs and just couldn’t quite get them in,” catcher Matt Wieters said. “Anytime you can add runs against a team with that kind of offense, you need to do it.”
The Orioles went hitless in their first nine opportunities with runners in scoring position while falling behind 2-0.
Although they came back to take the lead, their inability to score early proved pivotal after Texas used a six-run sixth to go up 8-3.
“We had our opportunities,” manager Buck Showalter said. “We scored five runs tonight. We’ve got to do a little better job pitching, and take advantage of the opportunities we get.”
Ian Kinsler matched his career high with four RBIs, including three in the sixth against former teammate Scott Feldman (0-1) when the Rangers rallied from a 3-2 deficit.
It was the first game between the teams since Baltimore eliminated Texas from the AL playoffs with a 5-1 win last October. Not counting that defeat, the Rangers have won 11 of 14 against the Orioles.
Derek Holland (7-4) allowed five runs, three earned, and 10 hits in 6 2-3 innings for Texas. He struck out Wieters and major league home run leader Chris Davis three times apiece.
“I felt good, everything was good, but for the most part, I really have to pitch better than that,” said Holland, who threw a career-high 125 pitches. “The guys gave me some runs and I gave them right back up. Give Wash credit for letting me stay out there. He had confidence in me and I have confidence as well. I just didn’t get the job done.”
Joe Nathan worked a perfect ninth for his 30th save, tied for the AL lead.
Wieters homered and Manny Machado had three hits for the Orioles. Davis and Wieters both struck out four times, including one apiece against Nathan in the ninth.
Making his home debut after being obtained in a July 2 trade with the Chicago Cubs, Feldman went up against the team he played with for eight seasons through 2012. The right-hander yielded seven runs and nine hits in 5 1-3 innings.
The key, of course, was the sixth.
A.J. Pierzynski doubled in a run and Elvis Andrus chased Feldman with an RBI single for a 4-3 lead. Engel Beltre greeted Troy Patton with a run-scoring single before Kinsler doubled into the left-field corner.
“That sixth inning was a rough one,” Feldman said. “Made some decent pitches, just seemed like everything they were hitting that inning kind of was like in a great spot.”
Wieters hit his 12th homer, a two-run drive in the seventh, to get Baltimore to 8-5. But the Orioles couldn’t complete the comeback.
Texas went up 1-0 in the third when Andrus hit a leadoff single and scored on Kinsler’s two-out single.
The Rangers added a run in the fourth on an RBI single by Mitch Moreland. Feldman avoided further damage by getting Andrus to hit into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded.
Baltimore took a 3-2 lead in the bottom half. A walk, a double and a throwing error by Moreland on Brian Roberts’ RBI grounder to first base produced two runs, and Machado added a two-out RBI single. With the bases loaded and two outs, Holland struck out Wieters for the third time.
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