Early offense, Gonzalez’s pitching carry Birds to victory at Texas

It was a night where the Orioles got plenty of early offense, consistent starting pitching and more good defense. They moved 12 games over .500 for the first time in 2013.

The O’s led 7-0 after three innings tonight and beat Texas 7-4 to take the first two games of this three-game series.

On Sunday night, the O’s go for their first three-game sweep at Texas since July 21-23, 1997. The O’s did sweep a four-game series at Texas in July of 2010.

On their fourth try, the Orioles finally moved a season-high 12 games over .500 at 55-43. The O’s have won six of their last seven.

In the first three innings tonight, the Orioles scored seven runs on 11 hits. They went 11-for-17 at-bat and 7-for-11 with runners in scoring position in those first three frames, as eight players had hits and five drove in runs before the game reached the fourth.

Henry-Urrutia-back-gray-swing-sidebar.jpgIn his major league debut, Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia went 1-for-4 with an RBI single off lefty Joe Ortiz in the third inning for his first big league hit and RBI.

Adam Jones and Chris Davis had RBI singles in the first for a 2-0 lead, and a Manny Machado RBI single made it 3-0 an inning later.

The O’s chased Texas starter Ross Wolf during a four-run third that featured a Jones solo homer (his 20th), Urrutia’s RBI single to right and a Brian Roberts’ two-run single.

Over his last five games, Jones is 9-for-17 with four homers and eight RBIs. Davis was 1-for-17 on the season with 11 strikeouts against Texas pitching before getting two hits.

Miguel Gonzalez gave the Orioles yet another solid outing and his eighth straight quality start. He gave up just one run and eight hits over 6 1/3 innings, throwing 103 pitches to improve to 8-3 with an ERA of 3.34.

Over those past eight starts, Gonzalez is 6-1 with a 2.35 ERA. This was the O’s sixth quality start over their last seven games, and the starters’ ERA is 3.13 in that stretch.

With the win, the Orioles take the season series against Texas, going 4-2 with one game left. They have won four straight against the Rangers by a combined 19-7 score.

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