ARLINGTON (AP) – Adrian Beltre’s two home runs weren’t quite enough to make up for two errors by Luis Sardinas in a surprising fill-in role for shortstop Elvis Andrus.
Beltre’s second homer was a three-run shot to pull Texas even before Nick Markakis had a go-ahead single for Baltimore, and the Orioles went on to a 6-5 victory over the Rangers on Wednesday night.
Sardinas, who bounced back with a career-high three hits, let former Texas slugger Nelson Cruz reach twice on errors in the first three innings, and both miscues led to runs.
“I don’t feel good at all,” Sardinas said. “We’re all here to contribute to the win and I did the contrary.”
Markakis had answers for both of Beltre’s homers, getting a tying homer after the first Beltre blast before his decisive single in the sixth inning.
Chris Davis had put Baltimore up by three with a solo shot against his former team — a night after Cruz did something similar by homering in his first game as an opponent at Texas.
“We’ve have been having good at-bats up there,” Markakis said. “Seems like when they get the ball over the plate, we’ve been getting good swings on it and finding the hole, finding the gap.”
Sardinas, a rookie, dropped a popup with two outs in the first, and Cruz scored on a single by Adam Jones. A throwing error in the third came before another run-scoring single by Jones and a sacrifice fly from J.J. Hardy.
Andrus, a two-time All-Star who wasn’t in the starting lineup for the second time in less than a week, grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the sixth and stayed in at shortstop.
Cruz had three singles after Sardinas’ errors.
Bud Norris (4-5) allowed six hits and five runs in five innings for the Orioles, and the bullpen pitched four scoreless innings. Zach Britton earned his fifth save.
Davis, who was traded to the Orioles by Texas in 2011 and led the majors with 53 homers last year, had his eighth this season on a towering shot to right field for a 5-2 lead in the fifth.
Cruz, who chose Baltimore over Texas as a free agent in the offseason and leads the big leagues with 21 home runs, hit a three-run homer in a series-opening win Tuesday.
Markakis hit his fourth homer against rookie starter Nick Martinez (1-2) in the third. The left-handed hitter’s go-ahead single came off Aaron Poreda, a lefty brought in to face him.
“It doesn’t really matter with Nick,” manager Buck Showalter said. “There are so few in baseball that left and right doesn’t matter.”
Beltre, who drove in all five Texas runs, gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead with an opposite-field shot off the facing of the upper deck in right field in the first inning and went the other away again in the fifth for his eighth homer of the season.
Beltre’s tying shot came after Norris was hit on the right forearm on a one-hopper by Mitch Moreland that turned into a single. After a lengthy chat with Showalter and the trainer, Norris stayed in and got two quick strikes on Beltre, who fouled off three more pitches before sending a line drive into the Texas bullpen for his third homer in two nights.
“When Beltre goes to punching the ball out of the ballpark, he does it in bunches,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “He put us on his back. We just couldn’t put enough runs across the board to help.”
Norris left the game after the inning with a right forearm contusion.
NOTES: Orioles RHP Miguel Gonzalez was scratched from his Thursday start in Texas and replaced by RHP Chris Tillman. Gonzalez is nursing soreness on his right side, but there’s no diagnosis. He was scheduled for an MRI. … The Rangers observed a moment of silence for Don Zimmer, who died Wednesday. He managed the Rangers in 1981 and part of 1982.
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