By STEPHEN HAWKINS
AP Baseball Writer
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Baltimore pinch-hitter Terrin Vavra hit a tiebreaking RBI double right after a disputed stolen base in the eighth inning, and the Orioles completed their first season series sweep against Texas, beating the Rangers 6-3 on Wednesday.
The Rangers challenged when Jorge Mateo was ruled safe on a stolen base with two outs, and the call stood after a replay review of the bang-bang play. Vavra then lined a double into left-center for a 3-2 lead, and Robinson Chirinos, who homered in the seventh, singled him home with his third hit.
Ryan McKenna also went deep for the Orioles (54-51), who swept all three games in Texas like they did at home a month ago. Baltimore already has two wins more than all of last season, and is only 1 1/2 games behind in the race for the American League’s last wild-card spot.
Orioles reliever Cionel Pérez (6-1) retired all four batters he faced. Jose Leclerc (0-1), the second of three Texas relievers, allowed two runs over 1 2/3 innings.
Jonah Heim and Marcus Semien homered for the Rangers, who lost their seventh consecutive home game and dropped a season-worst 12 games under .500 at 46-58 overall.
It was Texas’ fourth time this season getting swept in a series of at least three games — all of those coming since the start of July.
After trading away longest-tenured Orioles player Trey Mancini and closer Jorge López, general manager Mike Elias joined the team on the road a day after the trade deadline. He met with several players individually and said those deals didn’t mean the O’s are “not going to give it our all the rest of the season.” The GM said help would be on the way from inside the organization.
Rangers starter Martín Pérez matched his career high with nine strikeouts over six innings. The All-Star lefty, who exited with the game tied 1-1, matched a franchise record by making his 19th consecutive start without a loss.
Pérez twice struck out the side, including with the bases loaded to end the fifth when he slammed his hand in his glove after getting out slugger Anthony Santander.
While Martín Pérez was seen as a potential trade target for contending teams, the Rangers held on to their homegrown starter who returned this season after three years away. He lost his first two starts, but is 9-2 since and has expressed a desire to remain in Texas. The other Rangers pitcher to make 19 starts in a row without a loss was Cole Hamels, with 12 wins in a row from 2015-16. … Santander’s RBI double in the ninth extended his hitting streak to 14 games. … Rangers 1B Nathaniel Lowe has a career-best 10-game hitting streak.
Rangers: Corey Seager was the designated hitter for the third game in a row after missing three in a row with a lower right leg contusion after fouling a ball of his leg. Manager Chris Woodward said Seager should be back at shortstop Thursday.
Orioles: A day off before opening an interleague series at home against Pittsburgh on Friday night.
Rangers: Left-hander Cole Ragans, their first-round draft pick in 2016, makes his big league debut when the Rangers host the Chicago White Sox on Thursday night. The 24-year-old Ragans had Tommy John surgery twice in 14 months (March 2018 and May 2019). He was 8-5 with a 3.04 ERA and 118 strikeouts in 94 2/3 innings in 18 starts combined for Triple-A Round Rock and Double-A Frisco.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
The post Orioles win 6-3 for 1st-ever season series sweep of Rangers appeared first on KVIA.