BALTIMORE (AP) Derek Holland allowed five hits over six innings, Adrian Beltre and Ian Kinsler homered, and the Texas Rangers beat the Baltimore Orioles 3-0 Sunday to win their third consecutive series.
The Rangers took two of three from Baltimore and improved to 8-1, matching the best start in franchise history (1989). The only other seasons in which Texas opened with more than two successive series wins were 1989 (five straight) and 1993 (four).
Holland (2-0) struck out six, walked two and hit a batter with a pitch. The left-hander had only one perfect inning, but he never failed to get the outs he needed.
Neftali Feliz, the third Texas reliever, got four outs for his third save.
Beltre hit a solo homer off Jeremy Guthrie (1-1) in the fourth and Kinsler connected with a man on in the seventh off Jim Johnson. Before his two-out hit, Kinsler was 0 for 8 this season with runners in scoring position.
Guthrie was pitching for the first time since opening day. After missing a start because of a high fever, the right-hander was exceptionally sharp in his return – except for the pitch that Beltre deposited in the left-field seats.
Guthrie allowed one run, four hits and a walk in six innings, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Orioles (6-3) from absorbing their first series loss of the year.
Both pitchers worked their way out of early jams.
In the first inning, Baltimore had two on with two outs before Holland struck out Mark Reynolds, who came in with a .714 batting average with runners in scoring position.
Two innings later, Reynolds stranded runners at second and third.
Beltre hit his second homer in two games in the fourth. The drive came one pitch after he ripped a liner into the seats outside of the left-field foul pole.
NOTES: In his only other start against Baltimore, Holland lost 7-0 to Guthrie in 2009. … Markakis has reached safely in all nine games. … Baltimore’s first two pinch hitters of the season went 1 for 2. Luke Scott flied out with two on and two outs in the eighth, and Felix Pie singled in the ninth. … Hamilton has hit in six straight games and eight of nine.