BALTIMORE (AP) — It sure didn’t take long for new players on the Texas Rangers to get comfortable in a different environment. The trio has made a good team even better.
Jonathan Lucroy hit his first homer with Texas, Carlos Beltran had two hits and an RBI, and the Rangers beat Wade Miley and the Baltimore Orioles 5-3 Thursday night to avoid a three-game sweep.
Texas received contributions from the threesome it acquired before Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline. Lucroy homered in the second inning. Beltran — who homered Wednesday — singled in a run in the fifth. And Jeremy Jeffress pitched a scoreless seventh.
“For those guys to go a new ballclub, the travel, and assimilating themselves into the clubhouse … they’re professionals but anytime you make that move it can be a change,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “But it was nice to see they’re starting to perk up and do what they do. We saw tonight what this lineup can be capable of.”
Ian Desmond drove in two runs and Shin-Soo Choo came off the disabled list to get two hits and score a run for the Rangers, who took back from Baltimore the distinction of owning the best record in the AL.
Texas won the season series 4-3 and would have home-field advantage in the postseason if the teams finish with the same regular-season record and meet in the playoffs.
“It’s been a dogfight with these guys. That’s another first-place team over there,” Lucroy said. “It’s another team that can hit, hit a lot of home runs, especially in this park. It feels good to pull that one out and kind of break out offensively.”
Mark Trumbo hit his major-league leading 31st homer for the Orioles, who fell to 39-17 at home. Pedro Alvarez and Hyun-Soo Kim also hit solo shots.
Miley (7-9) gave up four runs and eight hits in five innings in his debut with the Orioles. The left-hander was traded by Seattle on Sunday.
“I wish the results would have been a little better,” Miley said. “I had some jitters.”
After Miley took a line drive off his left calf for the final out in the fifth, manager Buck Showalter went to bullpen in the sixth.
“I don’t think it’s a big concern at all,” Miley said.
A.J. Griffin (5-1) allowed three homers in 5 1/3 innings but won a second straight start following a six-game run without a victory.
“They’ve got some power, but for the most part I felt like we kept them off-balance really well,” Griffin said.
Sam Dyson, the fifth Texas pitcher, worked a perfect ninth for his 23rd save.
After Lucroy put the Rangers up 1-0, Desmond added a run-scoring groundout in the second.
Texas made it 4-0 in the fifth on RBI singles by Desmond and Beltran. Desmond’s single bounced past first baseman Chris Davis, who was screened by Choo advancing to second, and Beltran’s pop bounced off the glove of second baseman Jonathan Schoop in right field.
Trumbo and Alvarez homered in succession in the bottom half, and Kim led off the sixth with his fourth homer of the season — his first at Camden Yards.
Consecutive doubles by Adrian Beltre and Roughned Odor off Logan Ondrusek made it 5-3 in the eighth.
Rangers: Griffin has allowed at least one HR in eight straight starts. … Texas hit a season-high six doubles.
Orioles: Miley is the first lefty to start for Baltimore this season. … The Orioles have hit back-to-back homers 12 times this season.
Rangers: Choo spent the minimum 15 days on the disabled list with lower back inflammation. It was his third stint on the DL this season.
Rangers: Martin Perez (7-7, 4.22 ERA) starts for Texas on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series in Houston. The Rangers are 9-1 against the Astros this season.
Orioles: Baltimore starts a 10-game trip Friday night by facing former teammate Miguel Gonzalez (2-5, 4.06) and the Chicago White Sox.