The Texas Rangers fell behind by four runs and tied the game. The Rangers fell behind by three runs and tied the game. Then the Rangers fell behind by a run and took the lead.
But the Rangers couldn’t hold that lead and Baltimore walked off with a second straight 10-inning victory, winning 10-9 on Tuesday night.
The game-winner came on a Cedric Mullins single to left-center field, which got by Rangers left fielder Steven Duggar. For the second straight game, the O’s scored the game-winner off Rangers reliever Matt Moore.
The Rangers had a great chance to break the tie in the top of the 10th, but they couldn’t get a run across with the bases loaded and one out.
Before extra innings, the game featured a lead change and three ties, the last of which came in the bottom of the ninth on a solo home run by former Rangers infielder Rougned Odor off Rangers closer Joe Barlow to tie the game at 9-9.
That erased a two-run rally in the top half of the ninth, fueled by the Rangers’ two big free-agent acquisitions against O’s reliever Felix Bautista.
Marcus Semien singled with an out, beating out a throw from Odor, who seemed to take an extra half-second to make what should have been a routine toss to first.
Corey Seager then pulled a 2-0 offering from Bautista and parked it over the field in the right-center field to give the Rangers the one-run lead, their first lead of the contest.
Seager had three hits and Semien had two, and the pair combined to drive in four of the Rangers’ nine runs.
The Rangers had to fight off a 4-0 deficit after two innings, a 7-4 deficit after seven and an 8-7 deficit after eight.
The Orioles thought they had taken control late with a Ryan McKenna home run in the bottom of the eighth off Rangers reliever John King. McKenna would have made an unlikely hero. It was his first home run of the season and the shot was to left field, where the Orioles moved the fences back by more than 20 feet during the offseason.
The deficit could have been worse, as King loaded the bases but induced a double play to end the inning.
Texas clawed back into the game twice to tie it. The first time came in the top of the seventh on a solo home run by Mitch Garver, which finished off a four-run rally that started in the fifth inning.
The second time came in the top of the eight, when Nathaniel Lowe’s three-run home run scored Seager and Jonah Heim to tie the game at 7-all.
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That continued Lowe’s torrid numbers at Camden Yards. He went 2-for-3 with three RBI on Tuesday. Entering the game he was hitting .317/.353/.587/.940 (20-63) with five home runs and 14 RBI in 16 career games at the stadium.
The Rangers’ normally reliable bullpen couldn’t hold the line for a second straight game.
McKenna’s home run wasn’t the O’s only comeback against a Rangers reliever. The Orioles scored three two-out runs in the bottom of the seventh off reliever Dennis Santana.
Santana gave up a walk to Mullins and an infield single to Trey Mancini, the latter a weak grounder that Rangers third baseman Josh Smith misplayed.
Anthony Santander then singled home Mullins to give Baltimore a 5-4 lead. After Adler Rutschman walked to load the bases, Ramon Urias singled to right to score Mancini and Santander to make it 7-4, and Santana made a quick exit for King.
The Rangers clawed back from a 4-0 deficit with three runs in the top of the fifth and another run in the top of the seventh. In the fifth, Smith drove in his first Major League run on a sacrifice fly, followed by RBI singles by Semien and Seager to cut Baltimore’s lead to 4-3. In the midst of the run, the Rangers chased off Orioles starter Austin Voth, who held them scoreless for four innings.
Garver’s home run to tie the game at 4-4 was his 10th of the season, an opposite field shot to right off O’s reliever Keegan Akin. Garver became the seventh Ranger with 10 or more home runs this season, the most of any team in the Majors. It was also the 11th straight game the Rangers hit at least one homer, which is tied for the longest streak of the season and the league’s longest current streak.
The Orioles turned over Rangers starter Spencer Howard for four early runs.
Urias led off with a single and McKenna singled, but Howard was able to retire two hitters before the Orioles started bringing runners home.
Jorge Mateo’s line-drive single to right scored Urias. Mateo stole second and Mullins doubled to score both McKenna and Mateo. Mancini doubled home Mullins.
Howard settled down after that, throwing two scoreless innings before leaving for Garrett Richards.
Howard — named Pacific Coast League pitcher of the week on Tuesday — gave up six hits and four earned runs, along with two walks while striking out two. It was his first start with the Rangers since April. The Rangers activated him on Tuesday to take the ball as their fifth starter, at least for the time being.
The Rangers have Glenn Otto slotted to start Wednesday’s finale with the Orioles at 6:05 p.m. CT.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard