BALTIMORE (AP) — Chris Davis hit his major league-leading 34th homer to back a dominating pitching performance by Miguel Gonzalez, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Texas Rangers 3-1 Thursday night to earn a split of the four-game series.
Davis snapped an 0-for-17 skid and reached career highs in homers and RBIs (86) with a second-inning solo shot off Ross Wolf (1-2). His 34 home runs are the most in the majors before the All-Star break since 2001, when Barry Bonds had 39 and Luis Gonzalez hit 35.
Brian Roberts also connected for the Orioles, and Nate McLouth hit an RBI single in the eighth.
Gonzalez (7-3) allowed one run, four hits and two walks in 6 2-3 innings to improve to 5-0 at home this year. Baltimore has won each of the last 12 games he’s started at Camden Yards.
Jim Johnson worked the ninth for his 31st save in 37 opportunities.
Ian Kinsler homered and Mitch Moreland had three hits for the Rangers, who scored only one run in each of the final two games of the series. Adrian Beltre went 1 for 4 to extend his hitting streak to 13 games.
Texas couldn’t have asked for much more from Wolf, who got the start after Yu Darvish was placed on the 15-day disabled list with an upper back strain. Wolf gave up two runs and three hits in six innings.
Wolf hadn’t allowed a homer all season until Davis and Roberts both went deep in a span four batters. Davis put the Orioles up 1-0 by driving a 2-1 fastball into the center-field bleachers, and Roberts led off the third with his second homer of the year.
Baltimore’s only other hit through the first five innings was a leadoff single by Matt Wieters in the fifth. He was promptly wiped out by a 6-4-3 double play in which shortstop Elvis Andrus went deep in the hole before flipping the ball to second from his glove.
The Rangers had just one runner through the first four innings and managed only two hits through the fifth — both of them singles by Moreland.
Kinsler homered to lead off the sixth and Nelson Cruz singled with one out before Beltre hit into a double play.
Texas got a runner on second with no outs in the eighth before Darren O’Day quelled the threat.
NOTES: Texas assistant general manager Thad Levine said Thursday that Darvish’s injury isn’t serious, and the right-hander should be ready to return soon after the All-Star break. … After his HR, Davis struck out twice and is in a 2-for-27 funk. … Baltimore begins a three-game series with Toronto on Friday night, and Texas concludes the first half with three games in Detroit. After the All-Star break, the Orioles and Rangers conclude their season series with three games in Texas from July 19-21. … Texas optioned RHP Josh Lindblom to Triple-A Round Rock and recalled pitchers Joseph Ortiz and Wilmer Font from the same minor league club. … Rangers RHP Alexi Ogando, who’s been on the DL since June 9 with right shoulder inflammation, was scheduled to throw around 60 pitches in his second rehab start Thursday night for Round Rock.
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