By TODD KARPOVICH Associated Press
BALTIMORE (AP) — Trying to break out of a slump, Willie Calhoun got rid of each of his old bats.
Calhoun homered twice and drove in a career-high four runs, helping the Texas Rangers beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-6 on Friday night.
“I know today he hit two homers, but even when he’s not getting hits he’s still crushing baseballs,” manager Chris Woodward said. “I’ve seen it the last couple days. He just missed a few, just missed a few, and I think he’s been doing that ever since he got here.
“I’ve expressed to him many times, ‘If you stay in the strike zone and don’t swing at balls, with your swing and your ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark you’re going to be very successful.'”
Texas trailed 6-4 before rallying in the seventh. Elvis Andrus had the big blow, a two-run single that put the Rangers ahead to stay.
Trey Mancini hit his 30th homer for Baltimore, and Richie Martin added a three-run shot. Anthony Santander also went deep, extending his hitting streak to 11 games.
Despite battling a stomach ailment, Texas rookie Brock Burke still managed to get through five innings. He was charged with six runs and six hits.
“I lost probably eight or nine pounds,” Burke said. “I definitely felt slow and not as strong as I normally did.”
Brett Martin (2-3) worked a scoreless sixth inning for the win, and José Leclerc got three outs for his 11th save.
Orioles reliever Paul Fry (1-8) entered in the seventh and walked his first two batters, loading the bases. Shin-Soo Choo then singled in Scott Heineman, trimming Baltimore’s lead to one.
After Shawn Armstrong replaced Fry, Andrus drove in Ronald Guzmán and Jose Trevino with a single to center.
Baltimore threatened in the ninth, putting runners on second and third with one out. But Leclerc struck out Mancini and got Santander on a popup to earn a save for the second consecutive night.
The Orioles have dropped six of seven to fall to 46-94 on the season. They are 0-84 when trailing after eight innings.
Calhoun, who was mired in a 2-for-22 skid, hit a two-out solo drive off Dylan Bundy in the first. Mancini responded in the bottom half with his first homer in 20 games.
Martin made it 4-1 Baltimore with a three-run shot off Burke with two outs in the second. It was Martin’s first homer since June 25 and No. 5 on the year.
“My job is to get on base and just square the ball up anyway I can,” Martin said. “Fortunately it happened to go out today.”
After Calhoun tied it again with a three-run homer in the third, Santander belted a two-run shot in the fifth.
“I was just trying to tell myself to hit the ball on the barrel today, instead of hitting the ball off the end of my bat,” Calhoun said. “Today, I just tried to hit the ball off the barrel, and I got two good pitches to hit.”
Rangers: OF Joey Gallo (right wrist surgery) has taken batting practice over the past week. Woodward hopes to get him back in the lineup before the end of the season. Gallo has not played since July 23. He is batting .253 with 22 homers and 49 RBIs over 70 games.
Rangers: Jonathan Hernandez (1-0, 1.59 ERA) will serve as the opener in the third game of the series.
Orioles: RHP Aaron Brooks (4-7, 5.81 ERA) struggled with his command in his last start, allowing three runs and walking four over just 4 1/3 innings in a 6-4 loss to the Royals.