J.J. Hardy hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the seventh inning to back an effective pitching performance by Wei-Yin Chen and carry the Baltimore Orioles past the Texas Rangers 4-2 on Wednesday night.
Jimmy Paredes homered and had two RBIs for the Orioles, who yielded eight home runs in losing the first two games of the series.
The Rangers went deep twice more -- solo shots by Shin-Soo Choo and Ryan Rua -- but that was the extent of their offensive output.
Chen (4-4) allowed two runs, four hits and a walk over eight innings to win his third straight decision. The Taiwanese left-hander is 5-0 with a 1.80 ERA lifetime against the Rangers.
Zach Britton struck out the side in the ninth for his 23rd save.
Nick Martinez (5-5) gave up four runs, three earned, and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. He has lost three straight starts.
With the score tied at 2, Chris Davis led off the Baltimore seventh with a single and with one out Hardy hit a 1-1 pitch into the seats in left field.
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Although Baltimore leadoff hitter Manny Machado went 0 for 4 to end his 12-game hitting streak, he contributed in the field with several exceptional plays at third base. In the seventh, he dived to his left to snare a grounder by Choo, made the throw while on his back and got the runner by a step.
Choo put the Rangers up 1-0 in the third inning by homering in a third straight game. He pulled off that feat once before -- in April 2013 with Cincinnati. He is the first Texas player to do it since Adrian Beltre in September 2012.
Rau made it 2-0 with a drive to right in the fourth.
Paredes countered with his 10th homer in the Baltimore half. A double by Ryan Flaherty, an error by Beltre at third base and a run-scoring grounder by Paredes tied it in the sixth.
Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton was given the night off after returning from a hamstring strain Tuesday and playing in his first game since May 31.
"We had scheduled that this was going to be a down day for him," manager Jeff Banister said, adding that the plan is for Hamilton to return to the starting lineup in the series finale Thursday night.