ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Bobby Wilson took it personally when the Orioles intentionally walked Will Venable ahead of him.
Wilson lined a tiebreaking double with two out in the sixth inning as the Texas Rangers beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-3 on Saturday night.
Elvis Andrus tripled off the left-field wall with two outs and Venable was walked to bring up Wilson. Mychal Givens came on and Wilson hit his first pitch over third baseman Manny Machado to score Andrus.
“That’s been preached to me from a young age from my dad — don’t let people do that to you,” said Wilson, who had two hits and a walk. “So, it was nice to come through there.”
Wilson was one of Texas’ acquisitions before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. He hit .145 in 26 games this season for Tampa Bay but has hit .286 in 16 games with Texas.
Wilson has shared the catching duties with fellow newcomer Chris Gimenez with Robinson Chirinos and Carlos Corporan on the disabled list.
“Bobby has gotten some really big hits for us,” manager Jeff Banister said, “and none bigger than that tonight.”
The Rangers have won three straight and increased their lead for the second AL wild card to 1 1/2 games. They are six games above .500, equaling their season high, and have equaled their win total for last season at 67.
The Orioles have lost 10 of their last 12 games. In each loss, they have scored three runs or fewer.
“They’re frustrated. Frustrated,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. “So, there’s one way to take that frustration away.”
Rangers left-hander Martin Perez (2-3) allowed three runs and seven hits with no walks in 6 1/3 innings, throwing 63 strikes in his 84 pitches.
Shawn Tolleson earned his 28th save in 30 attempts, stranding runners at first and third in the ninth. Tolleson ended the game with a check-swing strikeout of Machado.
An RBI double by Shin-Soo Choo and Adrian Beltre’s two-run homer in the third gave Texas a 3-0 lead.
Delino DeShields — “a kid that leads the charge” according to Texas manager Jeff Banister — opened that inning by beating out a grounder to third. Machado appeared to double-pump the throw but said DeShields “just beat it out.”
Perez sailed through the first four innings, retiring the first 11 batters, before Baltimore erased the three-run deficit in the fifth. The rally began with Steve Pearce’s ninth home run of the season.
Perez struggled when getting away from pitching inside but quickly returned to what worked.
“Some of the secondary stuff got hit,” Banister said, “but they got right back into it. Nice readjustment.”
All three outs of the Rangers’ fourth inning came at second base. Venable was standing near second when he was struck under the left arm by a ball hit by Wilson. Wilson was forced at second on a single to shallow left field by Hanser Alberto that Adam Jones couldn’t catch. Alberto was thrown out at second trying to advance on a pitch to DeShields that wasn’t ruled a caught stealing.
OF Josh Hamilton said he still feels pain in his sore left knee that prevents him from running. Hamilton will be eligible to come off the disabled list on Monday but isn’t sure if he’ll be ready. “It’s a day-to-day thing,” he said. “I’m tired of watching ballgames.
Rangers: 2B Rougned Odor hasn’t played since coming out of last Tuesday’s game when a grounder ran up his right hand and ripped the nail on his middle finger.
Orioles: In 12 starts since coming off the DL in late June, RHP Miguel Gonzalez (9-10) has an ERA of 6.46. Gonzalez has two losses and three no-decisions in his last five outings.
Rangers: LHP Derek Holland (1-1) will make his third start after missing four months with a shoulder injury. He allowed three home runs in six innings last Tuesday in a no-decision against Toronto.