Markakis hits go-ahead single in Orioles win

Nick Markakis hit a home run and the go-ahead single, Chris Davis homered against his former team just as Nelson Cruz did a day earlier, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Texas Rangers 6-5 Wednesday night (Sharon Ellman/AP)
June 5, 2014, 12:00 AM

ARLINGTON, Texas — Nick Markakis had answers for both of the home runs from Texas slugger Adrian Beltre.

The Baltimore leadoff man hit a tying homer after Beltre’s first blast, and his go-ahead single followed a three-run shot that pulled the Rangers even, as the Orioles went on to a 6-5 victory in Texas on Wednesday night.

Markakis’ single in the sixth inning came after Beltre wiped out a 5-2 lead.

Chris Davis had put Baltimore up by three with a solo shot against his former team — a night after Nelson 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."

Cruz had three singles and reached twice on errors by Luis Sardinas, a surprise fill-in at shortstop for Elvis Andrus. It was the second time in less than a week the two-time All-Star wasn’t in the starting lineup.

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 off-season 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 manager Buck 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.

"I’m pretty sore," Norris said. "You don’t know where you want to get hit, but I guess it’s the forearm. I got some muscle on it so I guess you could look at it that way."

Both of Sardinas’ errors led to runs. He 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 grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the sixth and stayed in at shortstop.

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. … Orioles closer Tommy Hunter (left groin strain) will pitch in a simulated game Thursday after getting through fielding practice with no issues.

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