BALTIMORE (AP) — Steve Pearce had a career-high four hits and drove in two runs, and Wei-Yin Chen shut down Texas again as the Baltimore Orioles completed a four-game sweep of the Rangers with a 5-2 victory on Thursday night.
The Rangers have lost nine consecutive road games — their longest skid since 2005 when current Orioles manager Buck Showalter was at the helm. Baltimore (46-39) completed its first four-game sweep against Texas since 2004 and improved to a season-high seven games over .500.
Chen (8-3) allowed two runs and six hits with four strikeouts and two walks in six innings. He is 4-0 in four starts against Texas with a 1.67 ERA.
Left-hander Zach Britton earned his 12th save and hasn’t allowed a run in 21 consecutive relief appearances.
Pearce had eight RBIs in the four-game series. Since the beginning of June, he is 31 for 81 (.383) with nine doubles and 17 RBIs. Nick Hundley had two of Baltimore’s six doubles and scored twice.
Texas right-hander Yu Darvish, who was scheduled to start Thursday, was pushed back one day after rain delayed the start of the game. With the threat of more rain after a nearly one-hour delay, Rangers manager Ron Washington decided to use long reliever Scott Baker against Baltimore and save Darvish until Friday night when Texas will take on the Mets in New York.
Baker (0-2) allowed three runs and seven hits with two strikeouts and one intentional walk in 4 2/3 innings. Shin-Soo Choo hit his eighth homer of the season for Texas (37-48), which has lost 13 of 15.
It was the first time in the Orioles’ last 34 wins that they didn’t hit a homer.
Baltimore took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Pearce hit a one-out RBI single to left.
Texas responded the next inning when Carlos Pena’s grounder to second scored Adrian Beltre, who led off with a single. Choo made it 2-1 with a solo shot off Chen in the fifth.
Baltimore regained the lead at 3-2 in the bottom half of the inning. After Ryan Flaherty led off with a double, Hundley followed with another double, and scored on Pearce’s double to center.
The Orioles added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Adam Jones and an RBI single by Chris Davis.
NOTES: Baltimore OF Henry Urrutia (sports hernia surgery) will begin a rehab assignment next week. … Baltimore RHP Bud Norris (strained right groin) took fielding drills, and is expected to throw a bullpen session or simulated game on Friday. Norris is eligible to come off the DL on Monday and could start that night against Washington. … The Rangers used a new batting order for the 18th consecutive game. … Pena went 0 for 3 and is mired in a 3 for 33 slump since being promoted from Triple-A Round Rock on June 24.
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