Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) – Josh Bell hit the first two home runs of his career in a four-homer barrage, as Baltimore staved off a late rally to down Texas, 8-6, in the third installment of a four-game series.
Bell finished 3-for-4 with three runs scored and a career-high five runs batted in while Ty Wigginton and Luke Scott also went deep for the Orioles, who have taken two of the first three games.
Brad Bergesen (5-9) was the beneficiary of the power surge as he grabbed the win after going seven innings, during which he yielded five runs on nine hits and a pair of walks with three strikeouts. Koji Uehara tossed a scoreless ninth inning to earn his first career save, as Baltimore clinched the victory in the season series over Texas for the first time since 2004.
Cliff Lee (10-7) was victimized for a career-high four longballs and took the loss after allowing all eight runs on 10 hits over 5 2/3 frames. He walked one and fanned four for the Rangers, who have lost five of their last six.
Josh Hamilton went 3-for-5 with a home run and collected his major league- leading 23rd game with three hits or more, which also matched a Rangers single-season record.
Felix Pie started the home third with a single and scored one out later when Bell hit his first major league home run to give the O’s a 2-0 lead.
Hamilton singled to open the fourth and scored on a double by Vladimir Guerrero, who moved to third base on a ground out and scored to tie the game on a Benjie Molina sacrifice fly.
Wigginton and Scott hit back-to-back home runs with one out in the bottom half of the frame to put the O’s back in the lead for good at 4-2. Wigginton lasered a line drive to centerfield, while Scott lofted a majestic blast into the seats in right.
But the Birds weren’t done, as Pie singled, stole second and advanced to third on a Craig Tatum infield hit. Bell stepped up and swatted his second long ball of the day to centerfield to cap the five-run rally and give the home team a 7-2 cushion.
The Rangers loaded the bases with one out in the fifth but could only push across one run on a Hamilton ground out to close the gap to 7-3.
Bell singled with two outs in the sixth and was followed by a rare walk from Lee to Brian Roberts, spelling the end of the lefty’s outing.
Scott Feldman took over and uncorked a wild pitch that advanced the runners before Julio Lugo’s infield single plated Bell to make it an 8-3 contest.
The right-hander recorded the final out of the sixth but was removed from the game with an undisclosed injury while making his warmup tosses prior to the home seventh.
Texas continued to climb back into the game in the seventh after a two-out double by Michael Young was followed by a mammoth two-run clout by Hamilton.
Mike Gonzalez started the eighth on the hill for the Orioles and allowed a one-out double to David Murphy. One out later, Mitch Moreland doubled past a diving Adam Jones in center to chase home Murphy to trim the lead to 8-6.
Baltimore leads the season series, 6-3, with one more game left Sunday…Jones went 0-for-4 and is now hitless in his last 16 at-bats…The Orioles improved to 6-16 in games decided by two runs…Lee’s streak of going at least six innings in all 21 starts to begin the season came to an end…Lee has given up 13 HR this season. Of the eight he has given up as a member of the Rangers, seven have been hit by Baltimore…The eight earned runs he allowed matched a career-high established in a lopsided loss to the Rangers while pitching for Cleveland on August 17, 2004 as well as in Cleveland’s May 23, 2007 loss to Kansas City…Mickey Rivers in 1980 and Ivan Rodriguez in 1997 also had 23 games of three or more hits for the Rangers…Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus went 1-for-5 to push his hitting streak to 11 games, while Guerrero extended his to nine games. Guerrero has driven in only two runs in his last 14 games…Injured second baseman Ian Kinsler is scheduled to undergo an MRI on his strained left groin on Monday…The Rangers have lost seven of their last eight road games and are 6-13 during road day games.