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Lofton's home run leads Rangers past Orioles

Jul 8, 2007 - 11:31 PM ARLINGTON, Texas (Ticker) -- The Texas Rangers are heading into the All-Star break on a positive note.

Kenny Lofton hit his sixth home run of the season and Kevin Millwood pitched six solid innings as the Rangers defeated the Baltimore Orioles, 2-1, on Sunday.

Marlon Byrd also drove in a run for the Rangers, who head into the break having won 15 of their last 23 games.

"I just got lucky today," Lofton said. "I just go out and see what happens. We've got guys who are going out there and really doing their jobs and getting it done."

Lofton's two-out solo home run off Baltimore starter Daniel Cabrera (6-10) in the sixth inning broke a 1-1 tie, and the Rangers' bullpen made it hold up.

After missing the last three games with a bruised right knee, Rangers manager Ron Washington said it was important to get Lofton some action before the three-day break.

"Lofton isn't 20-something anymore," Washington said. "I didn't want him to go into the break without playing another game and he came through. He scored the first run and then hit a bomb for us. He's a spark plug."

Relievers Joaquin Benoit, C.J. Wilson and Frank Francisco bridged the way to closer Eric Gagne, who pitched a perfect ninth to record his 12th save of the season.

Wilson ran into trouble in the eighth when he allowed a one-out single to Nick Markakis, and Kevin Millar reached first on a throwing error. After walking Aubrey Huff to load the bases, Wilson was replaced by Francisco.

The righthander needed just one pitch to end the threat as he got Jay Payton to ground into a 6-4-3 double play.

Millwood (6-7), who did not start the seventh inning after Lofton's blast, allowed one run, five hits and three walks while striking out four. It was the fourth win in five starts for Millwood, who worked out of trouble in the sixth.

Brian Roberts singled and stole second to start the frame and, after two outs were recorded, Millar and Huff drew walks to load the bases. The 32-year-old Millwood got out of the jam by getting Payton to ground into a fielders' choice.

"Two months ago, there's no way this team wins a 2-1 ballgame," Millwood said. "Being able to make pitches to get out of jams has been the difference. The entire rotation finally has some confidence and the team finally has some confidence in us."

Cabrera allowed two runs, six hits and walked five while striking out eight in six innings. The 6-9 righthander has just one win over his last six starts and fell to 1-5 in his career against Texas.

"I pitched a pretty good game but we didn't get the win," Cabrera said. "(Lofton) did a good job. I was down in the count 2-0, I threw a good fastball but he got it and hit it out of the park."

Eighteen of Baltimore's last 30 losses have been by two runs or less and the team's 18 one-run losses this year are the most in the American League.

"We hit the ball hard today, but we hit it right at them," Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said. "We put ourselves in position but we couldn't hit at the right time. We had the right guys in the right situation but we couldn't do it."

The Orioles took an early lead on an RBI single by Markakis in the first. But the Rangers answered back in their first at-bat with an RBI single by Byrd, who has hit safely in 15 of his last 17 games.

Texas left fielder Frank Catalanotto was ejected in the first inning by home plate umpire Lance Barksdale for arguing balls and strikes.

"(Barksdale) just told me (Catalanotto) used the secret word. I was surprised but he just had a short fuse today," Washington said.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    BALTIMORE 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 7 0
    TEXAS 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 x 2 6 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: BAL - DANIEL CABRERA, ROB BELL (7TH), CHRIS RAY (8TH) AND PAUL BAKO,
    RAMON HERNANDEZ (7TH)
    TEX - KEVIN MILLWOOD, JOAQUIN BENOIT (7TH), C.J. WILSON
    (8TH), FRANK FRA

    Jul 8 5:45 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Orioles vs. RangersJul 8 5:39 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY KENNY LOFTON (6) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF DANIEL CABRERA.
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 1, TEXAS 2
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: R VAZQUEZ (.240, 0-FOR-2, SAC)

    Orioles vs. RangersJul 8 4:54 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARLON BYRD SCORED KENNY LOFTON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M BYRD ON FIRST, M YOUNG ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 1
    TEXAS 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: F CATALANOTTO (.231, 6 HR, 22 RBI)

    Orioles vs. RangersJul 8 3:22 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    BALTIMORE 1 1 2 0
    TEXAS 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: BAL - DANIEL CABRERA
    TEX - KEVIN MILLWOOD

    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: K LOFTON (.296, 5 HR, 19 RBI)
    R VAZQUEZ (.244, 4 HR, 13 RBI)
    M YOUNG (.289, 4 HR, 50 RBI)

    Orioles vs. RangersJul 8 3:14 PM