Joseph takes turn as hero, Cruz homers against former team (O’s win 8-3)

ARLINGTON, Texas - Show of hands if you were sitting at home tonight yelling for Orioles manager Buck Showalter to send up a pinch-hitter for Caleb Joseph in the eighth inning.

A bar, your car or a friend’s house also count. The point is, you questioned why he was batting with runners on first and second and one out in a tie game.

Now you wonder whether an apology will suffice.

Joseph lined a double into right-center field off Texas reliever Alexi Ogando to score Delmon Young and give the Orioles a 3-2 lead.

Nick Markakis and Manny Machado followed with RBI singles off Neal Cotts to extend the lead to 5-2, and Nelson Cruz punctuated his return to Arlington with a three-run shot off Shawn Tolleson.

More on Cruz later. This is Joseph’s moment.

Joseph was 2-for-29 before tonight, his hits coming on May 13 and May 31. He’s 2-for-4 tonight and 3-for-8 in his last two games.

Joseph has two RBIs this season, the first coming on a bases-loaded walk.

OK, Cruz sent Tolleson’s first pitch 404 feet to left field. He wasn’t in a rush to round the bases, and he smiled at Markakis and Machado as he approached home plate.

Cruz has nine home runs in his last 14 games. He leads the majors with 21 homers and 55 RBIs. He also leads with 14 homers and 42 RBIs in 33 road games. He’s in full beast mode.

Cruz was 0-for-4 before almost taking the cover off an 89 mph fastball.

Update: The Orioles extended their winning streak to three games with an 8-3 victory over the Rangers before 31,542 at Globe Life Park.

Preston Guilmet gave up a run in the ninth. He’s been scored upon in his last three outings.

The Orioles have scored 21 runs in their last three games and improve to 29-27 on the season. They pounded out 17 hits tonight.

Every starter had at least one hit. Adam Jones had his second four-hit night of the season.

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