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Orioles 3, Rangers 2, 12 innings

July 24, 1997

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ The Baltimore Orioles are back on track with a three-game sweep of the Texas Rangers.

The Orioles were limping following a 3-7 homestand, but they got their six-game road trip rolling by completing a sweep of Texas with Wednesday night’s 3-2 victory in 12 innings.

Jeff Reboulet, who entered the game in the 10th inning, singled home the go-ahead run as Baltimore beat Texas for the seventh time in eight games this season.

``Every team goes through bumps,″ Orioles manager Davey Johnson said. ``It’s how you handle the bad streaks. We didn’t start panicking and getting mad at each other. We kept saying that better times were ahead.″

Twice in extra innings, Texas put a runner on third base with one out but did not score. Will Clark flied out with runners at the corners to end the game.

Geronimo Berroa drew a leadoff walk from Danny Patterson (6-4) in the Orioles 12th. Berroa stole his fourth base of the season, took third on Chris Hoiles’ fly ball and scored when Reboulet bounced a one-out single over Texas’ drawn-in infield.

Reboulet entered the game after Johnson pinch-hit Tony Tarasco for starting shortstop Mike Bordick in the 10th.

``It feels good to contribute,″ Reboulet said. ``I’m in there for defense, but I was able to get a hit in a key situation. We were having a tough go before we got here. But all good teams go through stretches like that.″

Randy Myers (2-3) allowed two hits in the final two innings for the win. He worked around a leadoff double by Mark McLemore in the 12th.

McLemore moved to third on a sacrificed, but stayed there when Rusty Greer grounded out to a drawn-in Reboulet.

After Juan Gonzalez was intentionally walked, Clark flied out.

``Our bullpen did a great job through the entire series,″ Orioles second baseman Roberto Alomar said. ``But they’ve been doing a great job all year.″

The Rangers continued to falter in the AL West, falling 8 1-2 games behind front-running Seattle. Texas hasn’t been 8 1-2 back since Aug. 25, 1995.

Rangers manager Johnny Oates refused to comment after his team lost for the eighth time in the last 10 games and completed a 2-6 homestand.

Texas starting pitcher Bobby Witt was one of the few Rangers to be found in the home clubhouse.

``Anytime you lose a game that close, it’s tough,″ Witt said. ``We had some opportunities, but things didn’t happen for us.″

In the Texas 10th, Greer tripled with one out. But Armando Benitez struck out Gonzalez on three pitches and, after an intentional walk to Clark, got Dean Palmer on a fly ball.

Alomar tied a career high with four hits for Baltimore.

Rafael Palmeiro continued to wear out Rangers pitching, hitting a 435-foot home run in the first for a 1-0 lead. He has five homers and 13 RBIs against his former team this season.

The homer was Palmeiro’s 21st of the season and eighth of his career at The Ballpark in Arlington, tying him with Seattle’s Ken Griffey for the most by a visiting player in the four-year-old stadium.

Baltimore made it 2-0 in the fifth on successive singles by Bordick, Alomar and Jeffrey Hammonds off Witt.

Texas had only one hit off Baltimore starter Mike Mussina in the first four innings. Lee Stevens homered to start the fifth, and the Rangers tied it later in the inning when McLemore doubled with two outs and scored on Domingo Cedeno’s single.

Notes: All-Star catcher Ivan Rodriguez did not start for Texas. Rodriguez had missed only seven starts in 98 games prior to Wednesday, the fewest missed starts by a catcher in the majors. ... Baltimore’s Cal Ripken is one game short of tying Nap Lajoie for 40th place on the career list of games played. Lajoie played in 2,480. ... Rangers reliever Eric Gunderson has not been scored upon in his last six outings. ... Texas was 4-for-29 (.138) in the series with runners in scoring position.

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