ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Delino DeShields’ single led to a key error by Chris Davis during his first game in right field in almost three years, and the Rangers beat the Orioles 4-3 on Thursday night.
The speedy outfielder found another way to help the Texas Rangers win by finding a weakness in the banged-up Baltimore Orioles.
Davis volunteered to play right a day after three Baltimore teammates exited a 12-inning loss to the Rangers because of injuries. Then the Orioles lost another player when left fielder Dwight Smith Jr. crashed into the wall just as he caught a fly ball by Rougned Odor not long after a 13-minute rain delay.
“It’s pretty crazy, obviously,” said Davis, a first baseman by trade. “The last few days have been tough for us. The Yankees kind of had a similar scenario early this year, but in-season to have this many guys go down this quickly, it’s tough.”
Smith tried to stay in the game, grounding out for the final out of the fifth after his inning-ending catch in the fourth. He tried to play defense in the bottom of the fifth, but was unable to continue before the inning started. The 26-year-old is in the concussion protocol.
The injury to Smith forced Keon Broxton, the only healthy player on the Orioles bench, into the game as the center fielder while Stevie Wilkerson moved to left.
Wilkerson was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk earlier in the day after right fielder DJ Stewart went on the 10-day injured list. Stewart sprained his right ankle after getting tangled with Hanser Alberto as they pursued a foul pop in the sixth inning of a 2-1 loss Wednesday.
Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said catcher Pedro Severino and infielder Jonathan Villar, the other players forced from that game with injuries, were available Thursday.
Hyde used Villar as a pinch-runner in the ninth as the potential tying run even though the skipper didn’t want to. Severino took a foul ball off his mask Wednesday, and Villar left with a sore thumb.
“We’re going to be in bubble wrap going to the airport,” Hyde said.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa scored the tiebreaking run from first when DeShields’ rolling single to right skipped past Davis’ glove in the fifth. DeShields ended up on third even though the ball didn’t get that far past Davis and scored what ended up being the decisive run on Danny Santana’s sacrifice fly.
“That’s a ball that I know better than to try to charge that ball,” Davis said. “There’s not much I can do with it other than get in front of it and keep it in front of me. It was a lapse in judgment on my part and it cost us the game.”
DeShields, recently called up because of an injury to slugger Joey Gallo after it seemed the Rangers were ready to move on from four years of inconsistent play, played a big role for the second straight night. In the 2-1 win Wednesday, DeShields scored from first on a double in the first inning before a game-ending single in the 12th.
“He’s found his way into being an impact guy in pretty much every game since he’s come up,” manager Chris Woodward said. “I don’t know how many people get to third on a ball that just kind of trickles away from the right fielder.”
Ariel Jurado (3-2) gave up eight hits and three runs in six innings with six strikeouts. Jesse Chavez extended the longest active scoreless streak in the majors to 20 2/3 innings with a perfect seventh, and Chris Martin struck out the side in the eighth.
Shawn Kelley, a night after allowing a tying homer in the ninth, pitched around a walk for his seventh save as the Rangers improved to 6-0 in rubber games at home and matched their season best at four games over .500 (32-28).
David Hess (1-8) gave up his major league-leading 20th home run, a tying solo shot by Hunter Pence , his 12th, in the second inning. The right-hander set a career worst with his eighth consecutive loss, after losing seven straight as a rookie last year. Hess’ career record dropped to 4-18 after he allowed eight hits and four runs — three earned — in six innings.
Trey Mancini had three hits, including his 13th homer on a solo shot in the first. Wilkerson had an RBI single in the fifth, and Davis added a run-scoring double in the sixth. Alberto had two hits, giving him eight in the three-game series.
Rangers: DH-OF Shin-Soo Choo sat out a day after getting hit by a pitch on his left wrist, which set up the game-winning hit in the 12th inning. … Kiner-Falefa left after seven innings because of a jammed right middle finger.
Orioles: RHP Gabriel Ynoa (0-2, 5.06 ERA) is set for his third straight start in the opener of a three-game series at Houston on Friday night. Ynoa’s first nine appearances of the season were out of the bullpen. He has allowed 10 hits and six runs — four earned — in nine innings as a starter.
Rangers: RHP Lance Lynn (7-4, 4.50) is set for Friday night’s opener of a four-game, three-day series against Oakland. Lynn allowed a season-high eight runs in his only career appearance against the A’s, an 11-5 loss on April 23.