Arlington, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Nelson Cruz's three-run homer capped a six-run eighth inning as the Baltimore Orioles rallied for an 8-3 win over the Texas Rangers.
Adam Jones went 4-for-5 with a homer and two runs scored for Baltimore, which collected 17 hits as a team to easily take the opener of this three-game set from Globe Life Park. Nick Markakis had three hits and Delmon Young, Jonathan Schoop and Caleb Joseph -- the No. 7, 8 and 9 hitters in the order -- all had two hits and a run scored.
Cruz, who played eight seasons with Texas before signing with the Orioles this past offseason, was the last Baltimore starter to pick up a hit. He now has 21 home runs on the season, most in the majors.
"Weird," said Cruz when asked his it felt to return to Arlington. "It's weird. I was here for so long and now to be on the other side, it's different."
Brian Matusz (2-1) earned the win in relief of Ubaldo Jimenez, who allowed just a run on four hits in 5 2/3 innings. Matusz gave up the game-tying run in the bottom of the seventh inning, but retired the only batter he faced in the bottom of the eighth.
Adrian Beltre and Robinson Chirinos homered for Texas, losers in three of four.
Alexi Ogando (2-3) took the hill for the eighth inning after Chirinos tied it with a solo blast to lead off the seventh and retired J.J. Hardy before running into trouble. Young reached on an infield single, Schoop was hit by a pitch and Joseph doubled off the wall in right-center for a 3-2 lead.
That was it for Ogando, who was relieved on the mound by Neal Cotts. Markakis greeted him with an RBI single to center and Joseph scored on Manny Machado's infield single that deflected off Cotts' glove. Shawn Tolleson then took over and served up Cruz's three-run shot to left.
"He's swinging the bat well," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of Cruz. "We've seen him do it before."
Chirinos' sacrifice fly in the ninth was the final run.
Earlier, Jones and Beltre traded fourth-inning solo homers. Young gave the O's a brief 2-1 lead with his RBI single to left-center in the sixth inning before Chirinos tied it at 2-2 with a homer one inning later.
Cruz was a game-time decision with a bruised left hand ... Baltimore has won three straight following a four-game slide ... Former Oriole Joe Saunders gave up two runs on 10 hits in six innings for Texas in his third start with the club.