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Six-run inning dooms Orioles as birds drop below .500

Six-run inning dooms Orioles as birds drop below .500

All season the Minnesota Twins have relied on big hits from their third baseman, and he came through again.

No, it wasn't Miguel Sano this time.

With Joe Mauer out for the second straight game with back spasms and Sano playing first base, Eduardo Escobar highlighted a six-run third inning with a two-run triple as the Twins beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-4.

Escobar is now hitting .371 since June 4 and .431 in his last 13 home games, compelling the Twins to find a way to get his bat in the lineup.

"The regular playing time, for various reasons he's taken advantage," said Twins manager Paul Molitor, "and he's been a big contributor offensively for us."

Escobar's triple followed an RBI single from Sano and a two-run single from Max Kepler and gave the Twins a 5-2 lead after they had fallen behind in the second inning on Mark Trumbo's two-run homer.

MORE ORIOLES: ZACH BRITTON RETURNS TO O'S

The line drive from Escobar caromed off the corner of the right-field scoreboard and bounced away from Seth Smith, bringing the crowd to its feet as Escobar chugged for third.

"If I would have known I hit the ball that well to where it got away from him, of course it would have been an inside-the-park home run," Escobar said through a translator.

Jorge Polanco capped the big inning with an RBI groundout off starter Dylan Bundy (8-8), whose six runs allowed tied his season high.

Jose Berrios (8-2) gave up four runs and seven hits in six innings. Tyler Duffey, Taylor Rogers and Brandon Kintzler each pitched a scoreless inning with Kintzler getting his 23rd save.

Berrios worked with men on base most of the night but limited the damage nicely after Trumbo's homer. The Orioles slugger was up again in the third with the bases loaded but grounded out to short to end the inning.

Baltimore also had the bases loaded in the seventh against Duffey, but Trey Mancini grounded out to short, stranding three of the Orioles' 10 men left on base in the game.

Mancini made a mistake in the Twins' six-run inning when he tried to force Byron Buxton out at second base instead of taking the easy out at first. The miscue loaded the bases with the 3-4-5 hitters coming up.

"It's just a poor decision on our part," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Just go to first base and take the out."

With the loss, Baltimore dropped to a season-worst five games below .500. They've lost five straight against Minnesota and four straight overall.

"We've been playing lousy, and no one's going to give you any room to breathe," said Trumbo, "so we better get with the program."

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Machado homers as Orioles beat Rangers 6-5

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USA TODAY Sports

Machado homers as Orioles beat Rangers 6-5

For well over six seasons, Manny Machado's value to the Baltimore Orioles has been solely his ability to hit and play the field.

All that has changed, now that the Orioles are looking to receive a huge return for their All-Star shortstop in a blockbuster trade.

Machado homered before being removed on a wet day, Adam Jones hit a three-run double and Baltimore rallied past the Texas Rangers 6-5 Sunday.

Machado was taken out of the game in the fifth inning by manager Buck Showalter after a 26-minute rain delay. The move was designed to get their star player off a sloppy field, because the last-place Orioles are entertaining offers for Machado before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

"Obviously there's a different situation going on with Manny. You all know that," Showalter said. "That had a lot to do with it."

Plain and simple, the Orioles can't afford to have Machado get hurt. Now, more than ever.

"A month ago he wouldn't have come out of the game," Showalter acknowledged. "We know that. You know it."

After being replaced by Jace Peterson, Machado sat in the dugout, wearing a sweatshirt and joking with his teammates.

"I don't know why (Showalter) did it or not," Machado said. "He just told me, `I'm going to take you out. You had a good first half and go represent us well in the All-Star Game.'"

Machado is Baltimore's lone representative for Tuesday's showcase. He has spent his entire career in Baltimore, but his contract expires after this season and the Orioles don't appear interested in locking him up with a long-term deal.

"I'm going to the All-Star Game as an Oriole and as a shortstop. It's just always a blessing," Machado said. "I thank God. I thank my family for always supporting me, my teammates, the fans, the organization. I mean it's just been very incredible."

In a matchup between two teams staggering into the break, Texas got a first-inning grand slam from rookie Ronald Guzman but quickly gave the lead away in losing for the seventh time in nine games.

Machado ignited the comeback with his 24th homer, and Jones' bases-clearing double in the third off Mike Minor (6-6) put Baltimore ahead to stay.

"I'll be fine," said Minor, who yielded five earned runs in 2 2/3 innings. "I'll reflect a little bit and then get back to it."

The game ended when Texas pinch-runner Carlos Tocci was thrown out at the plate on a double by Elvis Andrus. Running from first base, Tocci was tagged out by catcher Caleb Joseph following throws by right fielder Mark Trumbo and second baseman Jonathan Schoop.

"Textbook," Showalter said.

Texas manager Jeff Bannister called it a "situation where they had to throw it on line to throw Tocci out. They executed well."

Tanner Scott (1-1), the first of four Baltimore relievers, earned his first big league win.

Zach Britton, another Oriole supposedly on the trading block, worked the ninth for his fourth save, the second in two days.

Texas broke on top when Miguel Castro issued three straight walks and Guzman sent a one-out drive over the right-field wall for his first career grand slam.

It was 4-1 in the third when Joseph hit an RBI double and Jones doubled down the left-field line following a walk to Machado.

Shin-Soo Choo homered in the seventh to get the Rangers to 6-5.

STREAKY

Choo opened the game with a walk, extending to 51 his single-season club record streak of games reaching base via a hit, walk or HBP. ... Texas' Delino DeShields went 0 for 3, stretching his hitless drought to 28 at-bats. ... Jones snapped a 1-for-16 skid with his third-inning double.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers: RF Nomar Mazara was given the day off after hurting his hand Saturday night in the outfield.

Orioles: RHP Chris Tillman (back) was set to make his final rehab start Sunday for Triple-A Norfolk. ... INF Steve Wilkerson (oblique) and OF Craig Gentry (rib fracture) likely won't come off the DL before August, Showalter said. ... RHP Andrew Cashner (neck strain) will be activated from the DL on Saturday or Sunday to face Toronto, Showalter said.

UP NEXT

Rangers: The rotation after the All-Star break, beginning Friday against visiting Cleveland: Martin Perez, Bartolo Colon, Cole Hamels, Yovani Gallardo and Minor.

Orioles: After the All-Star break, Dylan Bundy will start at Toronto on Friday night.

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Orioles unable to punch in final run late against Rangers

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Orioles unable to punch in final run late against Rangers

BALTIMORE -- Ryan Rua had a tiebreaking, pinch-hit three-run homer in the seventh inning and the Texas Rangers held on to beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-4 Friday night to snap a three-game losing streak.

Cole Hamels (5-8) won for the first time in almost a month, allowing four runs and five hits with three strikeouts and one walk over 6 1/3 innings in a matchup of last-place teams.

Rua broke a 1-1 deadlock with the first pinch-hit of his career, off rookie Tanner Scott. Nomar Mazara added an RBI double later that inning, which made it 5-1 and boosted Scott's ERA from 5.88 to 6.84 over 26 appearances.

Baltimore pulled within a run on Caleb Joseph's three-run double against reliever Jose Leclerc in the bottom half of the inning. The Orioles loaded the bases in the eighth but Jake Diekman got out of the jam by getting Chris Davis on a short pop out.

Keone Kela got the last three outs for his 23rd save.

The Orioles have lost 17 of 20 and fell to 14-33 at Camden Yards, the second-worst home mark in the majors behind Kansas City.

Joey Gallo gave the Rangers the lead when he led off the fifth with a home run off Alex Cobb (2-12). The Orioles answered in the bottom half when Adam Jones hit a double just inside the left-field foul line and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Danny Valencia.

Cobb left his previous start against the Twins in the sixth inning with a blister on his right index finger. He did not appear hampered by the injury and allowed two runs and six hits with three strikeouts and no walks over 6 1/3 innings.