McLouth makes big contribution with small ball approach (O’s lead 5-3)

Nate McLouth isn’t your prototypical No. 3 hitter, but Nick Markakis shouldn’t be batting first if we’re playing by those rules.

McLouth scored the Orioles’ only run tonight in classic small-ball manner. He walked with two outs in the top of the first inning, stole second base, took third on a throwing error by Rangers catcher Geovany Soto and scored on a wild pitch by Scott Feldman.

(Yes, I think of the Seinfeld bizarro world episode every time I hear Feldman’s name.)

Soto didn’t do Feldman any favors on the wild pitch. The ball ticked off his mitt.

McLouth is batting .191, but he’s been a nice addition to the roster. He has speed and he plays good defense in left field. He’s just not a No. 3 hitter.

How many teams can brag that they have three Gold Glove winners in their outfield?

Ian Kinsler homered with two outs in the third inning to tie the game, 1-1. Chris Tillman has allowed one run and two hits in four innings, with one walk and three strikeouts.

Manny Machado singled in his first at-bat and was called out trying to stretch it into a double. Replays showed that he beat the throw with room to spare, but umpire Tony Randazzo didn’t agree.

I expect more from the umpires. OK, I really don’t. Not at all.

Update: Machado fouled a ball off his right knee in the fifth inning, stayed in the game and delivered an RBI triple - giving him eight extra-base hits among his 12 major league hits.

Machado scored with two outs on J.J. Hardy’s double.

Orioles 3, Rangers 1.

Update II: Apparently, McLouth sees himself as a No. 3 hitter. He belted a two-run homer in the fifth - his first as an Oriole - to increase the lead to 5-1.

McLouth’s ball traveled an estimated 393 feet to right field.

McLouth hit 10 homers in 180 at-bats with Triple-A Norfolk.

Update III: Soto hit a two-run homer off Tillman in the seventh inning to reduce the Orioles’ lead to 5-3.

Tillman allowed three runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings, with one walk, seven strikeouts and two home runs. He threw 101 pitches, 64 for strikes, before Darren O’Day replaced him.

Tillman had surrendered nine runs and 12 hits in 10 1/3 innings over his last two starts. He’s walked five and struck out 17 in his last three.

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