ARLINGTON -- Near the end of Friday night's game between the Rangers and Orioles, the only drama was whether Adrian Beltre had a shot at collecting his 3,000th career hit.
Beltre had two hits, both RBI singles, while Andrew Cashner shut Baltimore down for seven innings to propel Texas to an 8-2 win over Baltimore at Globe Life Park. Beltre needed four hits to reach 3,000, and he got within two after hitting singles in back-to-back at-bats in the third and fifth. Beltre finished 2-for-4 after popping out in the seventh.
• On cusp of 3,000, Beltre unsure how he'll feel
"Our offense tonight was centered around a few guys," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "If you back and look at [Nomar Mazara], Beltre, [Elvis Andrus], [Shin-Soo Choo] with the walks and then [Carlos Gomez] late with the big two RBIs. I just felt like that our guys, those hard-hit balls tonight -- we got the home run, we got some balls in the gap to where before, none of those hard-hit balls that we had in Baltimore, they fell in."
The Rangers scored early and often, taking a 5-0 lead after three. Mazara (3-for-5, two RBIs) had three extra-base hits, all doubles, and Cashner limited the Orioles to a solo homer from Jonathan Schoop through seven. Texas has won five of its past seven games and remained 4 1/2 games out of the American League Wild Card race.
"Very similar to what we've seen as a trend from him lately," Banister said of Cashner. "The four-seam and two-seam attack with the fastball, it felt like he had a solid approach with the mix. He was able to get the four-seam up in the zone, and you saw that he induced a number of popups tonight. Really more, probably, than he's gotten any given game."
After holding Texas to one run on two hits in six innings in his last start against the Rangers on July 17, Tillman was rocked Friday. He gave up eight runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings before being lifted, raising his ERA to 7.65.
"It was inconsistent. I could never get in any kind of rhythm," said Tillman, who said he was dealing with cramping in his arm, but physically felt fine. "Execute one pitch then try to throw the same pitch the next pitch and it wasn't there. I just have to be more consistent in my delivery and in my pitches and I think we'll see the results I had the last one."
Baltimore has lost three in a row and five of its past seven.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Rangers start out hot: In the previous matchup between these two pitchers, the Rangers scored one run against Tillman. They topped that after three batters had come to the plate, as Choo walked, Andrus singled and Mazara doubled them both in to spot Texas a 2-0 lead.
"You've usually got to get him early," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "There's a lot of starting pitchers like that. Chris really just hasn't gotten on the horse after the first inning too much. Because we have a history with him, we keep looking for that. Tonight, he wasn't able to do it."
Pitching change doesn't fix things: Tillman had been touched for six runs in 4 1/3 innings and exited in favor of Richard Bleier. He got Rougned Odor to ground out, but Gomez ripped a two-run single in the next at-bat, extending the Rangers' lead to 8-0 and putting the game well out of reach.
"High energy inside that dugout. A lot of energy from Adrian. It's fun to watch. A total buzz inside the dugout when he's at the plate. Watch everybody's on the rail. They want to watch. They want to see it. They want to be part of it." -- Banister, on the team watching Beltre's at-bats
"I think he had it for an inning and then another one doesn't have it. Physically, I see something like when he's trying to run or jumping, grabbing his legs, so I have a pretty good idea about the way he moves and the way he pitches. I just asked him between innings, 'Are you OK?' He said yes. I got to trust him because he's the one who knows how he feels." -- Orioles catcher Welington Castillo, on Tillman
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Gallo's single in the second had an exit velocity of 117.3 mph, according to Statcast™. That's the hardest-hit ball of his career and the 11th-hardest hit ball by any player in the Majors this year.
Orioles:Kevin Gausman will take the mound Saturday at 8:05 p.m. ET for the O's, aiming to even the three-game series. Over Gausman's past 12 innings, he has allowed nine hits and struck out 16. Six of those innings and eight of those strikeouts came in a win against the Rangers on July 19.
Rangers:Austin Bibens-Dirkx (3-0, 4.53 ERA) starts for the first time Saturday at 7:05 p.m. CT since June 30. He pitched in relief against Baltimore on July 18, allowing two runs in 2 1/3 innings.
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