Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/21/13
As the Orioles open up the unofficial second half of the season, they know that the Texas Rangers could be one of the teams they end up battling for a possible playoff spot. So even though the three games here won’t be as magnified as their division games down the stretch, they are still incredibly important. And on Saturday night, the Orioles circled the bases for seven runs in the first three innings on their way to a 17-hit attack in a 7-4 win in front of an announced 41,660 at Rangers Ballpark. With the win, the Orioles (55-43) are a season-high 12 games over .500 and clinched their first series win here since July 8-11, 2010. For now, they have a better record than the Rangers (54-45). The Orioles have won six of their past seven overall and won four straight against Texas. They’ve also won 26 games on the road, second most in the majors and one fewer than the Rangers. "It’s a given that they’re going to be one of the teams that’s going to be as good as anybody in baseball," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "You look at teams like them, they’re so talented and so deep that you just better take care of your own business because it’s a given where they are." The Orioles also picked up a game on the division-leading Red Sox and now trail Boston by just 3 1/2 games. Saturday's game was delayed 35 minutes because of weather, but the Orioles got started quickly offensively. After three innings, the Orioles had not only plated seven runs, but each starter had reached base and all but one had a hit. That included Henry Urrutia, who went 1-for-4 in his major league debut with an RBI single in the third inning. The Orioles were 7-for-12 with runners in scoring position through the first three innings, recording as many hits in that situation as the previous five games combined. Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez held the Rangers scoreless over his first six innings, recording his eighth straight quality start, the longest streak of any Orioles starter this season. Over the past six games, Orioles starters own a 3.46 ERA and have 23 strikeouts and eight walks. Gonzalez (8-3) recorded his sixth win in his last seven decisions and has allowed one or fewer runs in each of his last three starts. "He’s been really good," Jones said. "He goes out there and competes. He gives us a chance to win. I [saw] over his last few road starts we hadn’t gotten him that much run support. So, I hope he thanks us today, we gave him seven early." The Orioles chased Rangers starter and former Orioles farmhand Ross Wolf from the game before he was able to record an out in the third inning, plating seven runs on nine hits. Eleven of the 16 batters Wolf faced reached base.
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