ARLINGTON (AP) – Rougned Odor and the Texas Rangers took full advantage of an unprecedented bad night by Baltimore shortstop J.J. Hardy to avoid a three-game sweep after blowing a big early lead.
Odor had a leadoff single in the seventh and scored the tiebreaking run with the help of two errors by Hardy as the Rangers went on to beat the Orioles 8-6 on Thursday night.
“He usually comes up with that stuff. He didn’t come up with it tonight, and it opened the inning us,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said of the Hardy miscues. “He’s a class infielder, and it just goes to show you it can happen to anyone.”
The Rangers blew an early 5-0 lead, but their three-run seventh started when speedy No. 9 batter Odor had an infield single off reliever Brian Matusz (2-2) and moved up after Hardy, who had a throwing error after fielding the ball in the hole.
“I had to make a quick throw on (Odor) and I just threw it a little too low,” Hardy said. “The next one, I can’t explain it. I just missed it.”
Odor came home when Hardy misplayed a grounder hit by Elvis Andrus to make it 6-5. Alex Rios and Chris Jimenez then added consecutive RBI singles off Preston Guilmet, the fifth Baltimore pitcher.
“Nobody in this clubhouse thinks twice about it,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. “It’s an honor to watch him play every night and I’m blessed to have had him pass my way, so we don’t give that two thoughts.”
Hardy, an All-Star for the second time last season, also had a throwing error in the fourth for the first three-error game in his career. In 1,152 games at shortstop since 2005 before Thursday, he had only one multi-error game — seven years ago when he had two in a game for Milwaukee.
Adam Jones had three RBIs for the Orioles, including his two-run double in the fifth and a homer leading off the eighth. Nick Markakis also homered for Baltimore, a two-run shot in the third.
Robbie Ross (2-4) struck out two in two scoreless innings before Tanner Scheppers, another reliever who started this season in the Texas starting rotation, gave up the homer to Jones. Joakim Soria worked a perfect ninth for his 12th save in 13 chances.
Scheppers, the opening day starter who went 0-1 with a 9.82 ERA in four starts before going on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation, was recalled from an injury rehab assignment earlier Thursday.
Baltimore starter Chris Tillman faced only 11 batters, and was gone without recording an out in the second inning. Nine of those batters reached, including all five in the second.
Tillman pitched in place of Miguel Gonzalez, the right-hander who was scratched a day before his scheduled start because of soreness in his side.
Mitch Moreland, the Rangers’ No. 3 batter, had a slicing two-run single to left in the first. Leonys Martin led off the Texas second with a single before Michael Choice’s two-run homer to left. After Odor and Shin-Soo Choo walked, Andrus had an RBI single that made it 5-0 and chased Tillman.
Jones doubled off Texas starter Colby Lewis, then scored on a single by Chris Davis that tied it 5-all. But Lewis wasn’t blaming center fielder Martin, who had the ball hit by Jones come out of his glove while falling to the ground on what would have been the third out.
“It’s one of those outings where I’m excited we won,” Lewis said. “I don’t think it should have been in that situation. I put it on myself. I’m not really worried about that.”
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