The Baltimore Orioles will try to earn a split of the four-game series when they host the Texas Rangers on Thursday. Baltimore defeated Texas 6-1 on Wednesday for only its third victory in the last 15 regular-season meetings, although it did eliminate the Rangers in last year's American League wild-card playoff. The Orioles received a boost Wednesday when Wei-Yin Chen pitched seven solid innings in his first start since May 12, when he suffered a right oblique injury.
All-Star Yu Darvish, Thursday's scheduled starter for Texas, was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained muscle in his right shoulder. The Rangers said fatigue is a factor and added that Darvish, who is 8-4 with a 3.02 ERA, will be ready to pitch when he comes off the DL on July 22. Texas, which had won five of its last six contests prior to Wednesday's setback, scored at least five runs in each game during that span.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, MLB Network, FSN Southwest (Texas), MASN2 (Baltimore)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rangers RH Ross Wolf (1-1, 1.95 ERA) vs. Orioles RH Miguel Gonzalez (6-3, 3.63 ERA)
Texas manager Ron Washington decided to give Wolf his second career start rather than call up Neil Ramirez from Double-A Frisco to make his major-league debut. The 30-year-old Wolf allowed one run (unearned) and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings in his first start and was a 4-3 tough-luck loser at Toronto on June 6. Wolf was credited with a hold Monday when he retired one batter in the seventh inning in Texas' 8-5 victory over Baltimore.
Gonzalez received a no-decision after allowing one run, four hits and five walks in six innings of a 3-2 loss at Yankee Stadium on Friday. The 29-year-old Mexican is 4-0 with a 4.14 ERA in seven home starts in 2013 and 7-0 in 11 outings at Camden Yards since a 10-1 loss to Tampa Bay on July 25. Gonzalez, who has a 1.21 WHIP, has faced the Rangers once - yielding four runs and eight hits in five innings of a 5-1 loss at Texas last season.
1. Four of the Rangers' five starters in their season-opening rotation are on the disabled list - Darvish, Nick Tepesch, Matt Harrison and Alexi Ogando. Only Derek Holland has avoided injury.
2. Baltimore 3B Manny Machado has 39 doubles, second-most in history prior to the All-Star break. Seattle's Edgar Martinez had 42 in 1996. Machado also leads the majors in three-hit games with 14.
3. Orioles All-Star 1B Chris Davis, who is hitting .310 and leads the major leagues with 33 homers, is hitless in his last 17 at-bats.
PREDICTION: Orioles 6, Rangers 5