Baltimore at Texas

W: L. Mendoza (1-0) L: V. Santos (1-6)
S: J. Benoit (6)
HR: BAL - M. Tejada (18)   TEX - N. Cruz (8)

Rangers 3, Orioles 2 wire reports

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Joaquin Benoit has had easier saves, but despite a precarious ninth inning, he was pleased to nail down the first major league win for teammate Luis Mendoza.

Mendoza scattered four hits over five innings and Nelson Cruz homered, helping the Texas Rangers beat the Baltimore Orioles 3-2 on Friday night and snap a four-game losing streak.

Mendoza (1-0) gave up one run, struck out two and walked one in his second big-league start since he was called up from Double-A Frisco on Sept. 5.

Mike Wood and C.J. Wilson pitched three innings of scoreless relief for Texas before turning it over to Benoit, who loaded the bases with nobody out before recovering for his sixth save in 12 chances.

Miguel Tejada walked to lead off the ninth, and after a single by Kevin Millar and a walk to Melvin Mora, Scott Moore hit a sacrifice fly to center that made it 3-2. Benoit then struck out Paul Bako and catcher Gerald Laird threw out Mora trying to steal second to end it.

"It gave (Mendoza) his first win, so it was good to shut it down," Benoit said. "We got the job done."

Mendoza was admittedly nervous watching the ninth from the dugout. "I'm at the beginning of my career, so I don't know what to expect," he said. "I'm just so happy right now."

Orioles manager Dave Trembley gave Mora the steal sign to stay out of a potential double play, but the strategy backfired when Bako swung through a full-count change-up.

"You've got to make contact and we didn't," Trembley said. "We were playing to win it in the ninth on the road."

Said Mora: "Bases loaded, nobody out, I thought we were going to win it there in the ninth. It was close at second. But that's how we have to play, to be aggressive."

Tejada homered for the Orioles, who've lost four of five.

Victor Santos (0-2) gave up three runs and five hits over five innings in his third start since the Orioles purchased his contract from the Cincinnati Reds on Sept. 7. Control was a problem for Santos, who walked five and hit a batter.

Tejada's 18th homer leading off the second gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead.

"I tried to go away, but he got it," Mendoza said. "I just wanted to be consistent and keep focused and stay down in the zone. I did that."

Baltimore threatened to score later in the inning when Moore singled and Gustavo Molina doubled, but Moore was thrown out trying to score from first on a perfect relay throw from second baseman Ian Kinsler to Laird.

The Rangers took a 2-1 lead in the second on Jarrod Saltalamacchia's two-run single.

Santos walked two and hit a batter in the second, and he also took a Ramon Vazquez's line drive off his left ankle before throwing out Vazquez at first. Santos remained in the game and eventually got Laird to ground out with the bases loaded to end the threat.

Cruz's eighth homer leading off the fourth made it 3-1. The Rangers went on to load the bases on a single and two walks, but Michael Young lined into an inning-ending double play.


  • The Rangers lead the season series 5-3.
  • Texas had lost eight of its previous nine.
  • Baltimore has been outscored 240-130 in the last 30 games.
  • Saltalamacchia had a double error in the sixth, booting a ground ball and then throwing wildly to first, allowing Moore to take second.
  • Rangers manager Ron Washington was asked about the possibility of bringing Barry Bonds to Texas next season. The San Francisco Giants announced on Friday that they would not bring Bonds back next season. "My guess is hell be in Oakland," Washington said.
Copyright 2017 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

J. Saltalamacchia
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0

L. Mendoza
IP 5.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 1
K 2

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February 24, 2017
2017 AL East Preview: Baltimore Orioles (2:25)
Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B4010000 .290
Tike Redman, CF3000010 .310
   a- Ramon Hernandez, PH1000001 .248
    Freddie Bynum, PR-CF0000000 .259
Nick Markakis, RF4000001 .289
Miguel Tejada, SS2211200 .299
Kevin Millar, DH4020000 .254
Melvin Mora, 3B3000112 .272
Scott Moore, 1B3011002 .200
Gustavo Molina, C2010001 .115
   b- Aubrey Huff, PH1000001 .284
    Paul Bako, C1000012 .201
Brandon Fahey, LF2000010 .173
   c- Luis Hernandez, PH-LF1000000 .321
a-hit into fielder's choice for Redman in the 8th
b-flied out for Molina in the 7th
c-grounded out for Fahey in the 8th
2B - Gustavo Molina (1, Mendoza)
HR - Miguel Tejada (18, Mendoza)
SF - Scott Moore (2)
RBI - Miguel Tejada (77), Scott Moore (9)
CS - Melvin Mora (3, 2nd base by Benoit/Laird)
Team LOB - 6
DP - B. Roberts-Tejada, B. Roberts-Tejada-Moore
Baltimore Orioles
Victor Santos (L,1-6) 5533511 5.90
Rob Bell 3300010 6.23
HBP - Cruz (by Victor Santos)
WP - Victor Santos (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Victor Santos 90-46, Rob Bell 44-26
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Victor Santos 6-6, Rob Bell 4-3
Batters Faced - Victor Santos 24, Rob Bell 11
Texas Rangers
Ian Kinsler, 2B2000201 .261
Gerald Laird, C3000103 .217
Michael Young, SS4010003 .313
Sammy Sosa, DH2100210 .252
Marlon Byrd, CF4120011 .309
Jason Botts, LF4000004 .232
    David Murphy, LF0000000 .365
Nelson Cruz, RF3131000 .230
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, 1B4022002 .269
    Brad Wilkerson, 1B0000000 .233
Ramon Vazquez, 3B2000001 .235
2B - Marlon Byrd (17, Santos)
HR - Nelson Cruz (8, Santos)
SH - Ramon Vazquez (12)
RBI - Nelson Cruz (28), Jarrod Saltalamacchia 2 (33)
SB - Nelson Cruz (2, 2nd base off R. Bell/Bako)
CS - Michael Young (3, 2nd base by R. Bell/Bako)
Team LOB - 8
Outfield Assists - Nelson Cruz 1
DP - Laird-Young
E - Jarrod Saltalamacchia 2 (12, Throwing)
Texas Rangers
Luis Mendoza (W,1-0) 5411121 1.93
Mike Wood (H,2) 2000010 4.78
C.J. Wilson (H,15) 1100000 3.07
Joaquin Benoit (S,6) 1111210 2.81
Pitches-Strikes - Luis Mendoza 71-46, Mike Wood 28-19, C.J. Wilson 16-8, Joaquin Benoit 22-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Luis Mendoza 7-5, Mike Wood 1-5, C.J. Wilson 2-1
Batters Faced - Luis Mendoza 19, Mike Wood 7, C.J. Wilson 4, Joaquin Benoit 5
Game Information
Attendance - 30603
Game Time - 2:37
Temperature - 89
Umpires - Home - Joe West, First Base - Ed Rapuano, Second Base - Ed Hickox, Third Base - C.B. Bucknor