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Baltimore at Texas

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Baltimore (38-49)100000000170
Texas (38-50) «10000100x261

Rangers win seventh straight series by edging O's

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Kevin Millwood finally has his mechanics in order on the mound and is starting to have a lot of success, like the rest of the Texas Rangers.

Millwood allowed one run in six innings to win for the fourth time in five starts and the Rangers went into the All-Star break with a 2-1 victory Sunday over the Baltimore Orioles to clinch another series.

"It seems like every game I've gotten a little better and a little more comfortable," said Millwood, who was on the disabled list twice before June with a strained left hamstring. "It's always easier when you're comfortable out there. When you're healthy, it's easier to have good mechanics."

The Rangers took two of three from Baltimore and are unbeaten in seven consecutive series for the first time since 2001, when they also went 6-0-1 during one stretch. But Texas (38-50) is still in last place in the AL West and 15 games behind the Los Angeles Angels.

Kenny Lofton, the 40-year-old center fielder who had missed three games with a sore left knee, hit the tiebreaking homer and scored both Texas runs. He was 2-for-2 with two walks.

"He needed some time off and he got it," manager Ron Washington said. "He certainly is a sparkplug. ... He scored the first run and then hit a bomb for us. Pitching did the rest."

Lofton's sixth homer was a two-out shot in the sixth off Daniel Cabrera (6-10) that snapped a 1-1 tie.

Millwood (6-7) allowed one run and five hits over six innings. He struck out four and walked three, two of those coming in the sixth when he got out of a bases-loaded jam by inducing a groundball by Jay Payton.

A double-play grounder got Millwood out of the first after he gave up two hits, a walk and a run.

"Being able to make some pitches here and there to get out of those, lately I've been able to do that," Millwood said.

"He's throwing all his pitches," Washington said. "He's using both sides of the plate, throwing it up, throwing it down, throwing it in and throwing it out. He's changing speeds, he's making pitches in tough situations."

It was only the second time in his 15 starts this season that Millwood allowed only one run. The right-hander, who is set to start consecutive games for the Rangers, has lowered his ERA from 7.82 to 6.16 over his past five starts. Millwood is the scheduled starter for the first game after the All-Star break, Friday night at the Angels.

Frank Francisco got Texas out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth when he needed only one pitch to get Payton to ground into an inning-ending double play.

"It's a game of luck and unfortunately I didn't get a break today. I came up a couple of times with the bases loaded and hit it right at the shortstop," Payton said. "A couple steps to the left or right and it's through."

Eric Gagne worked a perfect ninth for his 12th save in 13 chances, two days after his blown save against Baltimore in a game the Rangers won in 10 innings.

Cabrera struck out eight in his six innings.

"Cabrera wants one pitch back," Orioles interim manager Dave Trembley said. "Lofton is who he is, an experienced guy. He sat on a 2-0 pitch and did what he's supposed to do with it. Otherwise, (Cabrera) gave us a chance."

Both teams started the first inning with a leadoff single and a sacrifice bunt before scoring a run.

Brian Roberts led off the game with a single and scored on a single by Nick Markakis to make it 1-0. Lofton had the leadoff hit for Texas and scored on Marlon Byrd's single to tie the game.

The Rangers had the bases loaded in the fourth after Lofton was intentionally walked, but first baseman Kevin Millar made a diving stab of Ramon Vazquez's liner before All-Star shortstop Michael Young grounded out.

Baltimore had the bases loaded again in the eighth after reliever C.J. Wilson allowed a hit and a walk around an error before Francisco took over.

Notes

Melvin Mora, out of Baltimore's starting lineup for the seventh straight game because of a bruised left instep, flew out as a pinch hitter in the seventh. ... SS Luis Hernandez made his major league debut for Baltimore, coming in the game in the seventh inning after Mora pinch-hit for starting SS Brandon Fahey. ... The intentional walk issued to Lofton was the first for a Ranger since Mark Teixeira was given a free pass May 29 at Oakland. In that span of 36 games, every other major league team had at least four batters intentionally walked.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Texas

K. Lofton
AB 2
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Texas

K. Millwood
IP 6.0
H 5
ER 1
BB 3
K 4
 
Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B4120011 .322
Corey Patterson, CF3000001 .232
Nick Markakis, RF4021011 .280
Kevin Millar, 1B2000200 .277
Aubrey Huff, DH2000201 .259
Jay Payton, LF4000004 .277
Chris Gomez, 3B4030000 .297
Paul Bako, C2000012 .207
   a- Jay Gibbons, PH1000001 .212
    Ramon Hernandez, C1000010 .236
Brandon Fahey, SS2000011 .192
   b- Melvin Mora, PH1000001 .266
    Luis Hernandez, SS1000000 .000
Totals3117145  
a-flied out for Bako in the 7th
b-flied out for Fahey in the 7th
Batting
2B - Chris Gomez (6, Millwood)
SH - Corey Patterson (7)
RBI - Nick Markakis (51)
SB - Brian Roberts (27, 2nd base off Millwood/Laird)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Gomez-B. Roberts-Millar
Baltimore Orioles
Daniel Cabrera (L,6-10) 6622581 5.04
Rob Bell 1000200 2.89
Chris Ray 1000020 4.89
IBB - Lofton by Daniel Cabrera
Pitches-Strikes - Daniel Cabrera 104-59, Rob Bell 17-7, Chris Ray 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Daniel Cabrera 6-4, Rob Bell 2-0
Batters Faced - Daniel Cabrera 29, Rob Bell 4, Chris Ray 3
Texas Rangers
Kenny Lofton, CF2221200 .301
Ramon Vazquez, SS3000025 .238
Michael Young, DH4010005 .288
Marlon Byrd, RF3011100 .378
Frank Catalanotto, LF1000012 .230
    Desi Relaford, 2B2000110 .200
Gerald Laird, C3010111 .230
Brad Wilkerson, 1B4010024 .228
Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B-LF3000120 .213
Travis Metcalf, 3B2000110 .189
Totals27262710  
Batting
HR - Kenny Lofton (6, Cabrera)
SH - Ramon Vazquez (3), Travis Metcalf (4)
RBI - Kenny Lofton (20), Marlon Byrd (25)
2-OUT RBI - Kenny Lofton (9)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Vazquez-Hairston-Wilkerson, Vazquez-Wilkerson, Vazquez-Relaford-Wilkerson
PB - Gerald Laird (9)
E - Travis Metcalf (1, Throwing)
Texas Rangers
Kevin Millwood (W,6-7) 6511340 6.16
Joaquin Benoit (H,11) 1100000 3.13
C.J. Wilson (H,10) 0.1100100 3.00
Frank Francisco (H,9) 0.2000000 3.78
Eric Gagne (S,12) 1000010 1.32
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Millwood 93-54, Joaquin Benoit 13-9, C.J. Wilson 13-5, Frank Francisco 1-1, Eric Gagne 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Millwood 7-5, C.J. Wilson 1-1, Frank Francisco 1-0, Eric Gagne 1-1
Batters Faced - Kevin Millwood 24, Joaquin Benoit 4, C.J. Wilson 4, Frank Francisco 1, Eric Gagne 3
Game Information
Attendance - 22843
Game Time - 2:39
Temperature - 89
Umpires - Home - Lance Barksdale, First Base - Gary Cederstrom, Second Base - Brian Knight, Third Base - Tim Welke