Arlington, TX (Sports Network) – Jake Fox homered off Dustin Nippert in the 10th inning after Corey Patterson’s grand slam tied it in the ninth, giving the Baltimore Orioles an improbable 7-6 come-from-behind win to spoil the Texas Rangers’ big day.
The Rangers acquired All-Star pitcher Cliff Lee from the Seattle Mariners hours before the game and appeared ready to celebrate by wrapping up a rain- soaked affair holding a four-run lead in the ninth.
The Orioles had other plans though, as Patterson put the finishing touches on his four-hit night with a no-doubt, grand slam off Neftali Feliz.
Jason Berken (2-1) tossed a scoreless ninth and was credited with the win, Baltimore’s second in a row on the heels of a 1-6 stretch coming into this four-game series.
Vladimir Guerrero hit a three-run home run for the Rangers, who dealt Justin Smoak and three minor leaguers to Seattle while getting back Lee, pitcher Mark Lowe and cash considerations in baseball’s signature trade thus far.
Nippert (3-4) took the loss, Texas’ fourth in six games. Scott Feldman allowed two runs on eight hits in a seven-plus inning start.
Feliz entered in the ninth holding a 6-2 lead and ran into some trouble. The O’s loaded the bags with one out after a pair of singles and a walk before pinch-hitter Josh Bell swung through an inside fastball for strike three for the second out.
Patterson then launched a 2-2 fastball into the upper deck in right field, improbably tying the game.
“We’re keeping these games close and the bullpen is making good pitches and giving us chances to score some runs,” Orioles manager Juan Samuel said. “Corey Patterson came up huge there. It was just an unbelievable feeling to see that ball go out of the ballpark.”
Pedro Strop came in to stop the bleeding, but Miguel Tejada singled, and Nick Markakis followed with a double. Ty Wigginton followed with a walk, which brought up Adam Jones for the second time in the inning. Jones, who led off the frame with a single, grounded out to keep the game tied.
The Rangers put runners on first and second in the home half, but Berken got Chris Davis to fly out weakly to send the game to extras.
Fox, leading off the 10th, sent the eighth pitch of his at-bat against Nippert into the first row of seats in left-center for his fifth home run of the year.
Alfredo Simon retired the side in order in the bottom half to notch his 12th save of the season, capping Baltimore’s first win this season when trailing after eight innings. The O’s were 0-51 when facing a deficit entering the ninth.
After a two-hour, 29-minute rain delay, the Rangers got on the board with a four-run third off Orioles starter Brian Matusz, who was pulled after the inning, allowing a total of four runs on six hits and four walks.
Michael Young stroked a one-out single, and Ian Kinsler followed with another base hit. Guerrero brought everyone home with one swing of the bat, swatting a home run for a 3-0 advantage.
Two batters later, with two outs and nobody on base, Bengie Molina singled, which was followed by a Nelson Cruz double. Consecutive walks to David Murphy and Joaquin Arias forced in the fourth run of the frame.
The Orioles got on the board in the fourth, as Markakis doubled leading off and raced around on Wigginton’s single for a 4-1 contest.
In the fifth, Matt Wieters singled leading off, although he was injured running the bases on Scott Moore’s subsequent double. Craig Tatum pinch-ran and scored on Patterson’s one-out single for a two-run game.
Davis and Kinsler each added a sacrifice fly in the eighth to give the Rangers a 6-2 lead heading to the ninth.
“Both games we had won, both games the bullpen didn’t shut it down,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “Those are the guys we’ve been depending on up until this point. We just didn’t get it done.”
Wieters injury was termed a right hamstring strain, and he will evaluated on Saturday…Baltimore outfielder Felix Pie also left with a left quad strain and will be evaluated on Saturday…Davis was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City to replace Smoak on the roster…Two of Matusz’s three shortest starts have come in Arlington after throwing just 2 1/3 frames on May 20 in a loss…Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton extended his home hitting streak to 29 games by going 3-for-5…Texas went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position, stranding 12.