The Texas Rangers own the best record in the majors thanks in part to outfielder Josh Hamilton, who matched a major league record with four home runs on Tuesday and set an American League mark with 18 total bases in a 5-for-5 performance. The Baltimore Orioles, who owned the top record in the majors after winning their fifth straight Sunday, have been trounced by a combined score of 24-6 in the first two games against the Rangers.
Hamilton leads the majors in home runs (14) and RBIs (36), and is batting .406, tops in the AL. He was slowed down by Mother Nature as Wednesday’s game was rained out, setting up Thursday’s doubleheader.
The Orioles have surrendered five of those home runs and 10 RBIs in the first two games of the series. Baltimore had allowed an average of 2.2 runs in the 13 games prior to the Rangers showing up at Camden Yards. The one highlight for the Orioles has been J.J. Hardy, who is 10-for-16 with three homers over the last three games.
Rangers Orioles Betting
When: 7:05 PM ET, Thursday, May 10, 2012
Where: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, FS Southwest (Texas), MASN (Baltimore)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rangers LH Derek Holland (2-2, 4.43 ERA) vs. Orioles RH Tommy Hunter (2-1, 5.00)
Holland has two losses and a no-decision in his last three starts. He allowed two runs (one earned), five hits and 7 1/3 innings in Saturday’s 5-2 victory in 11 innings at Cleveland. Holland is 1-1 with a 5.11 ERA in three appearances (two starts) against Baltimore. Current Orioles are hitting .162 against Holland with 11 strikeouts in 37 at-bats.
Hunter, who was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk on Monday, will be recalled and start on three days rest after throwing 82 pitches Sunday against Boston. Hunter was 13-4 with the Rangers in 2010 before being traded to Baltimore during the 2011 season. He will face his former team for the first time.
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1. Elvis Andrus was on base for each of Hamilton’s home runs Tuesday and has reached safely in 26 straight games.
2. Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre (hamstring) has started at designated hitter in each of the first two games of the series.
3. Hamilton has extra-base hits in six consecutive at-bats, one shy of the major league record set by Cleveland’s Elmer Smith in 1921 and the Chicago White Sox’ Earl Sheely in 1926.