Hunter seeks to pitch O's to series win over Rangers

Baltimore right-hander Tommy Hunter will try to pitch the Orioles to a series win over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Hunter, who pitched the first three-plus years of his career in Texas before being shipped to Baltimore last season, hasn't won since July 18 and is 4-7 with a 5.49 ERA. Also, his 29 home runs allowed this season are tops in the majors and he has given up one in each of his last 11 starts.

However, he has allowed three runs or less in three consecutive outings, while his ERA is almost two runs lower post All-Star break than it was in the first half.

Hunter lost to the Rangers back on May 10, giving up four runs in six innings.

Baltimore evened this series on Tuesday, as Nate McLouth's two-run homer capped a four-run fifth inning to help the Orioles to a 5-3 win. J.J. Hardy and Manny Machado also knocked in runs for Baltimore, which has won three of its last four games.

Chris Tillman (6-2) allowed three runs on six hits and a walk while striking out seven over 6 2/3 innings in the victory. Jim Johnson worked a perfect ninth to secure his 38th save of the year.

"These guys have a great lineup and you have to respect that," Tillman said about the Rangers. "Whether you are ahead, behind, winning the game or losing the game, I think these guys all deserve respect. You have got to pitch them tough."

Scott Feldman (6-9) surrendered five runs -- four earned -- on seven hits and a walk through five innings for Texas, which had its three-game win streak stopped.

Ian Kinsler and Geovany Soto each homered in a losing effort.

Getting the call for the Rangers on Wednesday will be righty Derek Holland, who is 7-6 with a 4.98 ERA. Holland did not get a decision on Thursday against the New York Yankees, as he allowed five runs (4 earned) and five hits in 5 2/3 innings of a 10-6 win.

Like Hunter, Holland has had a penchant for serving up the long ball. His 23 HRs allowed are tied for seventh most in the league and 12 of those have come in his last eight starts spanning 54 innings.

Holland beat the O's the last time he faced them and is 2-1 in four games (3 starts) against them with a 3.44 ERA.

Despite Tuesday's setback the Rangers have won four of six and nine of 12 against the O's since the start of last season.