Elvis Andrus thought he might have a chance to score the go-ahead run from first base for the Texas Rangers on Josh Hamilton's hit.
Andrus did, just not as he would have expected in the Rangers' 4-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night.
Yorvit Torrealba had already scored the tying run on Hamilton's two-out single in the seventh off Jim Johnson (5-2) when Andrus went headfirst into third ahead of left fielder Nolan Reimold's throw.
"I was running on the 3-1 count, and as soon as I see the ball, I thought (Reimold) was going to dive for the ball," Andrus said. "If he misses the ball, I'm going to have a chance to get home."
Reimold kept the ball in front of him, but his throw ricocheted off Andrus toward the Baltimore dugout away from third baseman Mark Reynolds. Andrus scrambled to his feet and ran home for a 3-2 lead.
"I saw the ball going that way, the guy was right next to me," Andrus said. "I see the chance and I go."
Hamilton then scored on a double by Adrian Beltre.
The hustling play by Andrus came right after he made two spectacular defensive plays.
The top of the seventh ended on an acrobatic double play by Andrus, who got the ball from second baseman Ian Kinsler and had to hurdle over a sliding Adam Jones. After his feet came back to the ground, Andrus threw off balance, still in time to get Vladimir Guerrero.
"He did a good job getting out of the way," Kinsler said. "Vladdy's not going to be blazing down the line, so you've got time. He probably would have thrown it earlier, but wasn't able to get it out of his glove."
On the play before that, Andrus went deep in the hole to backhand Jones' grounder and get a force at second.
Two nights earlier, Andrus had a key error with two outs in the eighth against Florida, a play on which the Marlins scored the tying run before a two-run double to the next batter.
Tommy Hunter (1-0) worked an inning after taking over for starter Matt Harrison. Hunter was a 13-game winner last season who was supposed to be in the rotation again this year before being slowed by a right groin strain the last week of spring training. It was his second relief appearance since being activated from the disabled list Friday.
Neftali Feliz worked a perfect ninth for his 17th save in 21 chances.
Jim Johnson (5-2) allowed only five earned runs his last 25 appearances before giving up three runs, two earned, in the seventh.
"I didn't make any good pitches. Walking two guys is something I definitely didn't want to do," Johnson said. "Hamilton beat me there. It's deflating."
Mitch Atkins, called up from Triple-A Norfolk to make the start for Baltimore, allowed one run over six innings. The right-hander struck out four with no walks in his first major league start, and eighth major league appearance.
Before reigning AL MVP Hamilton batted with two outs in the seventh, pitching coach Rick Adair visited the mound. Johnson threw three consecutive balls before Hamilton took a strike and then singled the opposite way on the next pitch. Beltre followed with his double to deep center.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter once, as manager of Arizona, intentionally walked Barry Bonds with the bases loaded. But Hamilton got a pitch to hit.
"There wasn't a whole lot of help on deck, a guy who's hit Johnson well too," said Showalter, who also ran the Rangers from 2003-06. "You're kinda picking your poison there."
J.J. Hardy and Matt Wieters had solo homers for Baltimore. Hardy started the game with his third leadoff homer this season, his 13th overall, and Wieters started the fourth with his eighth.
Harrison gave up 11 hits, the last a single starting the seventh to Nick Markakis, one of five different Baltimore players with two hits off the Rangers left-hander. Harrison struck out five with no walks.
Nelson Cruz had an RBI single for Texas in the sixth, an inning before Andrus helped forced the issue and put the Rangers in the lead.
"It's just the way we play the game, the way we want to play every day," Kinsler said. "(Andrus) is one of the guys that pushes the envelope. ... It's nice to get a win in that style."
Notes: Rangers RHP Alexi Ogando (8-3) has already thrown 97 2-3 innings, more than he has in any other professional season. After starting Wednesday, he isn't likely to pitch in another game until July 19, the Rangers' fifth game after the All-Star break. ... The temperature was 102 degrees at first pitch, the highest at Rangers Ballpark this season. ... Texas 1B Mike Napoli paid for betting against the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA finals. Someone else got to pick his walk-up music Tuesday night. Among the selections: "Man, I Feel Like A Woman" and "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?" Napoli grounded into a double play and struck out twice while going 0 for 4.