Spenser Watkins pitched more than six innings for the first time in his career, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Texas Rangers 2-1 on Wednesday night for their first three-game sweep of the season.
Watkins (2-1) allowed one run and four hits with three strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings in his first career start against Texas, which fell to 4-17 in one-run games.
“Anytime you can push yourself is a fantastic feeling,” said Watkins, who also picked up his first home win this season. “I’m more grateful about getting the opportunity to give the team a chance to win. I wanted to hold the ball as long as I could and eat as many innings as I possibly could.”
Jorge López worked the ninth and struck out Brad Miller to end the game, earning his 14th save after blowing his last two opportunities.
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“It feels really good to get the last three outs,” López said. “Some struggles are going to happen but it’s a better feeling when you come back.”
The Rangers ended a major league-best streak of 11 games with a homer, one shy of the franchise record.
The Orioles took a 2-0 lead in the second off Glenn Otto when two runs scored on an infield single by Ryan McKenna and a throwing error by shortstop Corey Seager.
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“He put the ball in play with two runners in scoring position,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said. “We talk about it a lot — make the defense make a play. (McKenna) is doing something almost every game to help us win.”
Texas pulled within 2-1 in the fifth on an RBI double by Leody Taveras.
Watkins, a 29-year-old, second-year right-hander, allowed one run for a third straight start following a stint on the injured list. He threw 84 pitches, 61 for strikes, and walked his only batter with one out in the seventh.
“He pitched so well,” Hyde said. “I’m so happy for him.”
Otto (4-5) allowed two runs — one earned — with three hits and five strikeouts over five innings.
“We obviously have to try and improve and find a way to win those games, especially the last three,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “I felt like we could have won all three. ... We just have to keep our heads up.”
The Orioles swept the Rangers for the first time since 2017 and are 11-11-4 in series this season.