Albert Suárez outduels Max Scherzer to help Orioles beat Rangers 2-1

Baltimore Orioles' Colton Cowser, right, celebrates with Ramon Urias (29) after hitting a home run against the Texas Rangers during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 28, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)(AP/Stephanie Scarbrough)

BALTIMORE (AP) — Albert Suárez outpitched three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer, and the Baltimore Orioles beat Texas 2-1 on Friday night to extend the Rangers’ latest lengthy losing streak.

Making his second start of the season following a long stay on the injured list, the 39-year-old Scherzer gave up two runs and four hits over 5 1/3 innings. Along the way, the right-hander reached another milestone and provided hope he might be able to help the defending World Series champions turn around a disappointing season.

For that to happen, the Rangers (37-45) need to get their hitters on track. Scherzer (1-1) kept the Orioles’ potent offense in check, but Texas managed only four hits and got its only run in the seventh inning, when two Orioles relievers issued four walks, the last with the bases loaded.

“It’s tough going through something like this,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “We’re seeing good pitching, but we got the guys out there (on base) and the right guys up at times. We just couldn’t get the hit.”

The Rangers stranded eight runners and went 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position.

But Texas won it all last year with a late-season surge, and can only hope for a repeat.

“Yeah, we’re in a rut. I get it,” Scherzer said. “But this can flip in a heartbeat. This is baseball. Anything can happen.”

Suárez (4-2) allowed three hits and walked none in six innings. The 34-year-old snapped a two-game skid in which he allowed a combined eight runs and 16 hits over 8 2/3 innings.

Texas has lost five straight, its fourth skid of at least five games. In this one, the Rangers got the potential tying run in scoring position in the seventh and eighth innings but failed to cash in.

Craig Kimbrel worked the ninth for his 18th save in 22 tries.

Scherzer started the season on the injured list after undergoing back surgery in December. His recovery was slowed by right thumb soreness and nerve irritation in his throwing arm, but he returned last Sunday to pitch five innings of one-hit ball at Kansas City.

On this night, Scherzer blew a third strike past Ramón Urías in the second inning to break a tie with Greg Maddux for 11th place on the career strikeout list. Scherzer finished with four strikeouts to raise his career total to 3,375, 18 short of Justin Verlander for 10th place.

“It kind of stinks in a loss,” Scherzer said. “I came here to win today, not for milestones. I don’t pitch for milestones. I pitch to win.”

He could, however, appreciate the accomplishment.

“To me, it a durability thing,” Scherzer said. “To get to the that point, you have to be, year in and year out, durable. I pride myself on that.”

Scherzer gave up a solo homer to Colton Cowser in the fourth inning, and Gunnar Henderson made it 2-0 with an RBI single in the fifth.

“He did great,” Bochy insisted. “Two runs in this ballpark is a pretty good job. He felt good, and that’s what’s really encouraging.”

That was Scherzer’s takeaway, too.

“Finally, I’m starting to get over this thumb issue,” Scherzer said. “I’ve still got some nerve stuff up in the shoulder, but that kind of subsided. I’m kind of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on this. Physically, I’m finally getting in a better spot.”


Hall of Fame rocker Joan Jett joined the character known as “Mr. Splash” to spray water on fans in the outfield after a positive play by the Orioles. A Maryland native and long-time Orioles fan, the 65-year-old Jett posed for pictures and chatted with some of the players before batting practice. She also threw out the ceremonial first pitch.


Rangers: 3B Josh Jung (wrist) hopes to take batting practice Saturday, but he still has to face live pitching and could go on a rehab assignment before resuming a season interrupted by right wrist surgery after he was hit by a pitch in April. “We don’t want him here unless he’s healthy enough to swing a bat like he can and be able to handle major league pitching,” Bochy said.

Orioles: C Adley Rutschman was held from the starting lineup after taking a foul ball off a finger on his right hand Thursday night. Manager Brandon Hyde said x-rays were negative. … RHP Corbin Burnes was placed on paternity leave, one day after going seven innings in a win over Texas. He is expected to join the team in Seattle next week during a Tuesday-Thursday series.


Baltimore rookie Cade Povich (0-2, 4.15 ERA) makes his fifth start Saturday, looking for the first victory of his career. Michael Lorenzen (4-3, 3.04) starts for the Rangers.



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