|Texas (72-51) «||0||1||0||9||1||0||1||0||x||12||14||0|
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Adrian Beltre could not deny it. With two chances at matching a major league record four homers, he was thinking only one thing.
"I'm trying to hit a home run," Beltre said. "I got a pitch to hit, too, but I couldn't do it."
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He had chances in the sixth and eighth to become the 17th player all-time to hit four home runs -- teammate Josh Hamilton did it May 8 at Baltimore -- and grounded out both times.
Beltre hit his first homer leading off the second against former teammate Tommy Hunter. He connected again off Hunter for a two-run shot with none out in the fourth. He then hit another two-run drive with two outs while facing Kevin Gregg.
"It was a fantastic night," manager Ron Washington said. "I was hoping for him to get a fourth one also, but it didn't work."
Mitch Moreland hit his first grand slam in the fourth, when the Rangers sent 12 batters to the plate. He matched Beltre with a career high-tying five RBI.
The power surge supported a solid effort by Derek Holland. The left-hander pitched seven innings, giving up three runs and five hits. He struck out five and walked three.
Hunter (4-8) allowed eight runs on eight hits -- three home runs -- in three-plus innings. Hunter, who spent parts of four seasons with the Rangers, was acquired by the Orioles along with first baseman Chris Davis in a 2011 trade-deadline deal for right-handed reliever Koji Uehara.
"He made a lot of mistakes," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "And they make him pay for it."
With his first home run, Beltre became the ninth third baseman with 10 seasons of at least 20 home runs. Beltre has had 23 multihomer games in his career. He also hit three homers in Game 4 of the AL division series against the Rays last year.
The Rangers gave Holland (8-6) plenty of support with the big inning.
Josh Hamilton, who matched a major league record with four home runs May 8 against the Orioles at Camden Yards, started the inning with a single and scored on Beltre's drive to left.
Three batters later Beltre hit his second homer of the inning, driving in Hamilton, who walked.
Beltre, who entered the game hitting .244 in his last 31 games, is hitting .462 (6 for 13) in his last three.
"I've been kind of struggling for a couple of weeks," Beltre said. "I've been working in the cages trying to find a comfort zone with my feet and hands.
"The last three days I stuck with something," he added.
Beltre, Murphy, Young and Ian Kinsler each had more than one hit. Shortstop Elvis Andrus was the only starter without a hit for the Rangers, who improved to 13-8 in August and maintained a five-game lead over Oakland in the AL West.
Murphy has five multihit games in his last six and is hitting .519 with four doubles, one home run and seven RBI during the stretch. Since July 24 he leads the majors with 13 doubles.
Moreland swung the bat well, Murphy swung the bat well, we got it up and down the lineup tonight," Washington said.
Nick Markakis went 3 for 4 with three RBI for Baltimore.
|Adrian Beltre has a game to remember. The Rangers' 3B smashes three home runs, including two in the fourth inning. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Nick Markakis, RF||4||0||3||3||0||1||0||.295|
|J.J. Hardy, SS||4||0||1||0||0||1||3||.226|
|Adam Jones, CF||4||0||0||0||0||2||1||.291|
|Matt Wieters, C||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.238|
|Taylor Teagarden, C||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.086|
|Mark Reynolds, 1B||3||0||0||0||1||0||0||.220|
|Lew Ford, DH-LF||4||1||1||0||0||0||1||.161|
|Nate McLouth, LF-CF||4||1||1||0||0||1||1||.198|
|Manny Machado, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.261|
|Robert Andino, 2B||2||1||0||0||1||0||1||.218|
|2B - Lew Ford (3, Holland)|
|3B - Nick Markakis (3, Holland)|
|RBI - Nick Markakis 3 (45)|
|2-OUT RBI - Nick Markakis 3 (20)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|DP - Gregg-Hardy-Reynolds, Hardy-Andino-Reynolds|
|Tommy Hunter (L,4-8)||3||8||8||8||2||0||3||5.95|
|WP - J.C. Romero (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Tommy Hunter 72-43, Kevin Gregg 19-14, J.C. Romero 18-11, Matt Lindstrom 8-5, Steve Johnson 23-13, Luis Ayala 14-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tommy Hunter 6-3, Kevin Gregg 1-0, Matt Lindstrom 2-0, Luis Ayala 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Tommy Hunter 19, Kevin Gregg 4, J.C. Romero 5, Matt Lindstrom 3, Steve Johnson 5, Luis Ayala 4|
|Ian Kinsler, 2B||5||0||2||0||0||0||1||.266|
|Elvis Andrus, SS||5||0||0||0||0||0||2||.296|
|Josh Hamilton, CF||3||2||1||0||1||1||0||.285|
|Mike Olt, RF||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.222|
|Adrian Beltre, 3B||5||3||3||5||0||0||1||.307|
|Nelson Cruz, RF||4||1||1||0||0||1||0||.268|
|Craig Gentry, CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.310|
|Michael Young, DH||4||2||2||0||0||0||0||.271|
|David Murphy, LF||3||2||3||1||1||0||0||.315|
|Geovany Soto, C||3||1||1||1||1||1||3||.208|
|Mitch Moreland, 1B||3||1||1||5||0||1||1||.289|
|2B - Ian Kinsler (35, Ayala), David Murphy (24, Hunter), Geovany Soto (8, S. Johnson)|
|HR - Adrian Beltre 3 (22, Hunter, Hunter, Gregg), Mitch Moreland (13, Hunter)|
|SF - Mitch Moreland (3)|
|RBI - Adrian Beltre 5 (73), David Murphy (49), Geovany Soto (24), Mitch Moreland 5 (38)|
|2-OUT RBI - Adrian Beltre 2 (29), Geovany Soto (4)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|DP - Andrus-Kinsler-Moreland|
|Derek Holland (W,8-6)||7||5||3||3||2||5||0||4.92|
|Pitches-Strikes - Derek Holland 106-61, Mark Lowe 14-10, Alexi Ogando 13-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Derek Holland 8-7, Alexi Ogando 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Derek Holland 27, Mark Lowe 4, Alexi Ogando 3|
|Attendance - 40714|
|Game Time - 2:36|
|Temperature - 89|
|Umpires - Home - Todd Tichenor, First Base - Tony Randazzo, Second Base - Bob Davidson, Third Base - Brian Gorman|