|Major League Baseball|
· Current Odds
· Gaming Matchups
· Live Odds
· Pitching Report Cards
· Probable Pitchers
· Teams Index
· Power Poll
· Power Poll
American League Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, June 4 (All times Eastern)
Baltimore Orioles (29-27) at Texas Rangers (29-29), 8:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Baltimore - Bud Norris (3-5, 4.04) Texas - Nick Martinez (1-1, 2.75)
(SportsNetwork.com) - Nelson Cruz's return to Texas as a member of the Baltimore Orioles may have felt weird to the slugger, but there was nothing out of the ordinary in his performance.
The Major League leader in home runs squares off against his former teammates again on Wednesday night in the second of three straight meetings with the Rangers.
Cruz spent the previous eight seasons with the Rangers, smashing 157 homers and driving in 489 runs over 796 games. However, his final season with the club also featured a 50-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis PED scandal and he turned down a $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Rangers in the offseason.
It didn't pay off for the 33-year-old slugger with regards to getting a long- term deal, with Cruz eventually signing a one-year deal worth $8 million with the Orioles. But is has paid off for Baltimore, with Cruz hitting his 21st homer of the season in last night's 8-3 win.
"Weird," said Cruz, a game-time decision due to a bruised left hand, when asked his it felt to return to Arlington. "It's weird. I was here for so long and now to be on the other side, it's different."
Cruz his hitting .313 with 55 RBI for the Orioles and has smashed six home runs in his past nine games, driving in 12 runs in that span.
"He's swinging the bat well," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of Cruz. "We've seen him do it before."
Adam Jones added four hits, one a home run, in Baltimore's third straight victory, while Nick Markakis added three hits.
Adrian Beltre and Robinson Chirinos homered for Texas, losers in three of four.
Bud Norris gets the start tonight for the Orioles hoping to avoid his fourth loss in five starts. Over his previous four outings, he has allowed 13 runs in total to fall to 3-5 with a 4.04 earned run average on the season.
Norris is pitching on extra rest, having not toed the rubber since an 8-3 setback to Milwaukee on Wednesday. The 29-year-old righty was charged with four runs on five hits and three walks over six innings of work.
Norris beat the Rangers the only other time he faced them, with that outing coming on March 31 of last year while with the Houston Astros. He gave up two runs over 5 2/3 innings.
Texas rookie Nick Martinez faces the Orioles for the first time in what will be the 11th appearance and sixth start of his career.
The right-handed Martinez won his first career game on May 24 in Detroit, a 12-2 decision in which he allowed just one run over six innings. He took a no- decision five days later in Minnesota, giving up four runs on nine hits and a pair of walks in 5 2/3 frames of work.
Martinez, 23, has returned to Texas' rotation after a stint in the bullpen and is 1-1 with a 2.75 ERA in 10 games (5 starts) on the year.
This is the first meeting of the season between these two teams. Baltimore went 5-2 against the Rangers in 2013.
06/04 10:42:18 ET
Powered by The Sports Network.