Nick Solak hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning that helped the visiting Texas Rangers to a 3-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series.
Texas could not come up with many scoring chances against starter John Means and the Baltimore bullpen. The Rangers finished with five hits and went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position.
The Orioles, meanwhile, ended up with 10 hits but were 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position, and those missed chances hurt them.
Starter Kolby Allard (4-0) pitched well for Texas, allowing one run and scattering eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. The left-hander was forced to work his way out of a few jams but came through each time.
Jose Leclerc took care of the ninth and earned his 10th save.
Means (10-10) gave the Orioles another strong effort but faded in the seventh. He allowed just one hit through six innings, but Means then allowed the two runs in the seventh inning that decided the game.
Overall, Means gave up the two runs on four hits in 6 2/3 innings, including the Solak homer. The left-hander struck out four without a walk in the hard-luck loss.
The Orioles scored the game’s first run in the sixth inning. Trey Mancini led off with a double, and Anthony Santander moved him to third by grounding out to second.
Renato Nunez then drove Mancini in with a sacrifice fly to center that gave Baltimore a 1-0 lead. The ball wasn’t very deep in center, but the Orioles rolled the dice and sent Mancini, who scored as Delino DeShields’ throw went up the first-base line.
But Texas answered back in the seventh against Means. Elvis Andrus led off with a single, and one out later, Solak hit his second major league homer, a two-run shot to right-center that gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead.
Texas added some insurance in the ninth. Logan Forsythe made it 3-1 with an RBI single off of Branden Kline.
—Field Level Media