Though the Baltimore Orioles are off to a strong start, they still appear to have their issues with the Texas Rangers.
After back-to-back defeats following their 7-0 start, the visiting Orioles can get back on track by avoiding a sixth consecutive loss to the Rangers on Friday night.
Baltimore (7-2) averaged 5.7 runs in those first seven contests but has totaled five in the last two. The Orioles led 3-1 and chased Cole Hamels in the top of the sixth inning Thursday before Texas (6-5) scored five times in the bottom of the frame en route to a 6-3 victory.
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"The baseball gods weren't too kind to us," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
Nolan Reimold had two hits and Mark Trumbo clubbed his third home run for Baltimore, which has batted .202 and been outscored 40-18 while losing seven of eight to the Rangers. The Orioles have dropped five in a row at Texas after winning six straight there, including the postseason.
"That's why you got (Friday)," Baltimore veteran Adam Jones said. "Just keep moving forward as a team and keep getting better."
Nomar Mazara continued his strong career start for Texas with two more hits and a RBI in the series opener. The 20-year-old Dominican outfielder is 8 for 20 with three RBIs in his first five major league contests.
Martin Perez (0-1, 3.65 ERA) will try a third time to earn his first victory of 2016 when he takes the ball for the Rangers. The left-hander issued five of his nine walks and hit a batter for the second straight game Sunday, when he allowed three runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
''I thought his stuff was good,'' Texas manager Jeff Banister said. ''But (Sunday), it was the five walks and the hit batter - the freebies that we've got to cut down on.''
Perez didn't walk anybody while yielding three runs in 6 1-3 innings of a 4-3 home victory over the Orioles on Aug. 29.
Trumbo is 4 for 9 with a home run and a double against Perez while Manny Machado is 3 for 9 with a homer. Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy have each gone 3 for 6 with a double versus Perez.
The Orioles hand the ball to Vance Worley (0-0, 3.86), who allowed two earned runs and seven hits in 4 2-3 innings of a 5-3 win over Tampa Bay on Sunday.
The right-hander's only previous appearance against the Rangers came in April 2013 with Minnesota. Prince Fielder hasn't faced Worley since that season but is 4 for 9 with a double and a home run against him.
Fielder, who went 0 for 4 on Thursday, is 7 for 40 with 14 strikeouts.
Jones also went 0 for 4 in his return from going six games without an at-bat because of a rib injury. He is 2 for 14 with six strikeouts in 2016.
"He's going to hide it as much as he can if he wasn't (feeling OK)," Showalter told MLB's official website. "But he's going to be frank with us. ... It's more about (his condition Friday) than (Thursday)."