Playoff chances slipping away for slumping Orioles as Rangers win 6-0 for 3-game sweep



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ARLINGTON, Texas — Baltimore slugger Chris Davis took a big swing and missed, the bat flying out of his hands and helicoptering toward the right-field line.

The slumping Orioles now need to do something to keep their playoff chances from slipping completely out of reach.

Davis' game-ending strikeout Sunday was the Orioles' 11th against Derek Holland, who threw a three-hitter for his eighth career shutout as the Texas Rangers completed a three-game sweep with a 6-0 victory.

"We've just got to get back on it, man," Adam Jones said. "Ain't nobody going to feel sorry for us, so we've got to play the game right and got to continue to go out there and give it the best effort we can."

The defending AL East champion Orioles have lost 10 of 11, falling 5 1/2 games behind Texas in the wild-card chase. There are now four teams between them after Tampa Bay and Cleveland passed Baltimore on Sunday.

"We've tried a lot of things, trust me," manager Buck Showalter said. "This is not a time to point fingers. It's a time to rally around each other. That's what our guys are already trying to do."

Holland (2-1), in his third start back from the disabled list, struck out all nine Baltimore starters at least once. The left-hander got Davis and Jones twice each, though Jones was one of only two Orioles to reach second base — on his two-out double in the first.

"We're still right in the thick of things. We just have to get on a little winning streak," Jones said. "We're still going to make a run. There's a full month left, so I don't think anybody in this clubhouse has given up."

At 68-61, the Rangers are seven games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2013 season. Their 68 wins are already one more than all of last year — and they still have 33 regular-season games to play.

Miguel Gonzalez (9-11) gave up four runs over 5 1-3 innings in his 100th major league game. The right-hander is 0-5 in his last seven starts, allowing 29 earned runs over 35 innings (7.46 ERA).

"We all know that this game isn't easy," he said. "Mentally, you've got to be tough and not think about what's going on. ... But you've got to keep making pitches."

After missing most of 2014 following left knee surgery, Holland went back on the DL after only one inning in the home opener April 10 when he strained his left shoulder. His previous shutout was Sept. 23, 2013, against Houston.

This time, he went the distance in the Rangers' seventh shutout of the season. Baltimore was held scoreless for the ninth time.

"I executed all my pitches, the defense was making some outstanding plays behind me, and the offense put up the runs," Holland said. "I'm just glad to get back and get a complete game."

Texas went ahead to stay in the first, when it had three consecutive singles to start before Adrian Beltre's sacrifice fly made it 1-0. Shin-Soo Choo, whose single marked his 34th consecutive start since the All-Star break reaching safely, then scored on a wild pitch.

QUICK STOP AT HOME

Baltimore is in a stretch of 13 of 16 games on the road. After this 1-6 trip, the Orioles play a three-game series at home against Tampa Bay. At least they get a scheduled day off Thursday before another six games on the road.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: RHP Chaz Roe, on the disabled list since Aug. 10 with right shoulder tendinitis, is scheduled to throw an inning Monday for Double-A Bowie and could rejoin the Orioles later in the week.

Rangers: C Carlos Corporan (left thumb strain) will travel with the team for its trip to San Diego, and likely will be activated Tuesday when rosters can expand to 40. He hasn't played since July 12. ... C Robinson Chirinos (left shoulder strain), out since July 30, is expected to take batting practice Monday with Double-A Round Rock, and could begin a rehab assignment Tuesday.

UP NEXT

Orioles: Baltimore plays the Rays, the opener of a series that will end a stretch of 20 games in 20 days.

Rangers: Colby Lewis goes for his career-best 15th win when the Rangers play Monday night in San Diego, the start of an 11-day, 10-game road trip that is their longest of the season.

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