ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - The Rangers were feeling off their game after getting swept in a weekend series against Baltimore.
And they weren't ready to credit the Orioles after losing the finale of the three-game slate 4-2 on Sunday night.
``Very uncharacteristic baseball,' Texas manager Ron Washington said. ``Plays that we usually take pride in making we just haven't made them. Sometimes the game finds you in that position. We're going to keep grinding.'
The slumping Rangers (54-44) have lost four in a row and seven of eight. A season-high three games behind division-leading Oakland in the AL West, Texas was swept for the second time in its last six home series.
Ian Kinsler went 2 for 4 with an RBI and Adrian Beltre's solo home run in the ninth chased Orioles starter Chris Tillman (12-3) three outs shy of his first career complete game.
Martin Perez (3-3) pitched 6 1-3 innings for the Rangers, giving up four runs and nine hits. Neal Cotts, Joakim Soria and Cory Burns came out of the bullpen to combine for 2 2-3 shutout innings. Texas relievers have thrown 19 2-3 consecutive scoreless innings.
But uncharacteristic defensive plays and baserunning mistakes spelled doom for the Rangers.
``We lost three games to a team we feel like we should beat,' Kinsler said. ``That's not very characteristic of us but we'll see how we respond.
``It's just frustrating to lose,' he said. ``You can make mistakes and still win games. They capitalized on our mistakes. They're a good team.'
Tillman gave up two runs and six hits while striking out seven as the Orioles (56-43) moved to a season-high 13 games over .500 with their seventh victory in eight games.
Baltimore's Matt Wieters had two hits and scored twice as the bottom half of the Orioles lineup did the most damage. The last five hitters in the order scored all four runs, drove in three and had seven of the Orioles' 10 hits.
Nate McLouth led off the game with a single for the third straight game, but Baltimore didn't really get going until the second inning. That's when Rangers left fielder David Murphy lost Chris Davis' fly ball in the sun for a leadoff double. Davis scored on Wieters' single for a 1-0 lead.
Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus made an error on potential double-play grounder that left the bases loaded with nobody out. Brian Roberts singled to make it 2-0, but Perez got out of the jam with consecutive strikeouts and a groundout.
In the third, Wieters doubled past a diving Beltre at third base and J.J. Hardy put the Orioles up 3-0 with a double that sailed over Craig Gentry's head in center field.
Baltimore added its fourth run in the fourth. Roberts started the inning with a double and scored on Manny Machado's single that caromed off Perez's glove and into center field.
Texas scored in the fifth on Kinsler's RBI single to right, but Murphy got caught in a rundown between third and home and was tagged out by Wieters. That made it twice in three games that a Rangers runner was thrown out after rounding third and trying to get back to the bag.
Washington said third-base coach Gary Pettis wanted to send Murphy on the play, but then second-guessed himself and put up a stop sign for Murphy.
``I told Gary, `Trust yourself,'' Washington said. ``Next time just do what you think is right.'
Beltre's home run was the first by a Rangers player since his two-run shot in the ninth inning against Detroit on July 13.
NOTES: Rangers LHP Matt Harrison, on the disabled list because of a herniated disk that required two operations in late April and early May, threw a 45-pitch bullpen session Saturday and will throw 60-65 pitches Monday. The team's opening day starter said he plans to throw batting practice Wednesday. ``My goal is the end of August or early September, but if things go good, maybe we can speed that up,' Harrison said. ... Rangers RHP Alexi Ogando (shoulder inflammation) is slated to come off the disabled list Tuesday and start against the New York Yankees. His last appearance was against Boston on June 5.
The Associated Press News Service
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