The Orioles sent nine batters to the plate in the fourth inning. They also sent the umpires inside to review a call in center field.
By scoring four runs, the Orioles increased their lead to 6-0 over the Rangers on another sweltering night at Camden Yards.
Nolan Reimold hit a three-run homer on a fly ball into the left field corner that casually dropped into the first or second row of seats. And yes, I’m going with “casually.”
Reimold was 3-for-15 since coming off the disabled list. He hadn’t homered since May 4 in Anaheim. And he wasn’t in the original lineup.
Chris Dickerson was scratched after suffering an apparent injury during batting practice. Reimold took over as the designated hitter.
The Orioles’ 219 walks before tonight ranked 28th in the majors, but Rangers starter Josh Lindblom issued three free passes through four innings. He walked Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy back-to-back to begin the fourth, and Brian Roberts followed with a long fly ball to center field that Engel Beltre nearly caught with a leaping attempt.
The ball deflected off his glove and the top of the fence. There was so much confusion that Wieters chugged home after going back to tag up at second, and Ian Kinsler held the ball instead of firing to the plate. It was an incredibly long RBI single.
Roberts was 4-for-29 since returning from the disabled list.
Manager Buck Showalter wanted the umpires to check whether it was a home run, but they actually made the correct call.
Reimold swung at the next pitch and homered.
Manny Machado singled with two outs, his 12th three-hit game of the season. He also has two four-hit games.
Machado has raised his season hit total to 126, which is where Miguel Cabrera began the night.
Wei-Yin Chen is shutting out the Rangers on one hit over five innings, with two walks and three strikeouts. He’s thrown 71 pitches, 45 for strikes.
Chen tossed five scoreless innings in a May 12 start in Minnesota before leaving the game with a strained oblique. He’s got five scoreless tonight in his return.
Update: Chen lost his shutout in the sixth on Adrian Beltre’s fielder’s choice bouncer to third. Machado chose to go to second rather than throw home.
Chen has allowed one run and three hits in six innings, with three walks and four strikeouts. He’s thrown 92 pitches, 55 for strikes.
Rain is headed this way. The grounds crew is lined up behind the tarp roll, and the orange umbrellas on Eutaw Street and on the bar atop the batter’s eye are being closed so they don’t blow away.
Update II: Sensational outing by Chen, who’s allowed one run and three hits in seven innings, with three walks and four strikeouts. He needed only eight pitches to retire the Rangers in order in the seventh, leaving his count at 100.
Tommy Hunter continued to warm in the bullpen.
Down on the farm, Henry Urrutia is 3-for-3 with two runs scored and is suddenly batting .340 at Triple-A Norfolk. Alex Liddi hit his first home run, a three-run shot.
Knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa has allowed six runs (five earned) and six hits in 4 2/3 innings, with three walks, four strikeouts, a wild pitch and three hit batters.
Hunter is now pitching the eighth. In Chen’s last two starts, he’s allowed one run over 12 innings.
Urrutia is now 4-for-4 to raise his Norfolk average to .353. Liddi has a triple, home run and five RBIs.
Update III: Hunter turned in two scoreless innings and the Orioles defeated the Rangers 6-1 before 19,344 at Camden Yards.
The Orioles have reached 50 wins before the break for the first time since 1997.
The six runs are the most they’ve scored since beating the Yankees 11-3 on June 29.