Chris Davis ' season has already entered the record books.
Now, the Baltimore Orioles are hoping he can eventually lead them back to the postseason.
Davis looks to continue his staggering production Friday night as the Orioles visit Arlington for the first time since eliminating the Texas Rangers from the playoffs in October.
Davis has emerged as one of the most feared hitters in baseball, and his major league-leading 37 homers tied the AL record for the most before the All-Star break, set by Reggie Jackson in 1969.
Davis also has a career-high 93 RBIs, two fewer than Detroit's Miguel Cabrera for the most in baseball. He went 1 for 3 while batting behind Cabrera in the AL's 3-0 All-Star game win Tuesday after entering the break with homers in four straight games.
The first of that stretch was a solo shot in a 3-1 win over Texas on July 11, helping Baltimore (53-43) - currently 4 1/2 games behind East-leading Boston - earn a split of a four-game set at Camden Yards.
Davis, though, is eying more than personal glory after the Orioles were eliminated in the division series by New York last season. That, of course, came after their 5-1 victory at Texas in the wild-card round.
"It's a productive year," Davis told the team's official website. "Did we go to the World Series? Did we win the World Series? I think that's the ultimate goal. How far did the team go? A lot of guys had productive years last year, but we didn't finish where we wanted to finish."
Giving the ball to Wei-Yin Chen (4-3, 2.82 ERA) may help get this three-game series off to a strong start.
The left-hander has won both of his career starts against Texas behind a 1.23 ERA after allowing one run and three hits in seven innings July 10. That was also Chen's first outing after missing nearly two months with a strained right oblique.
"For the last year and a half, he was a consistent force for our rotation," catcher Matt Wieters said. "You know he's going to go out there and give you everything he has and compete."
The Rangers, losers of four of their last five games, may be hoping the break offered them a chance to get healthy. They have 10 players on the disabled list, including seven pitchers - six starters.
"It's been a grind in the first half with the challenges we've been put up against," manager Ron Washington told the team's official website. "But we've done a good job dealing with it, and going through it can't help but make you stronger."
Washington will give the ball to Derek Holland (8-4, 3.08), who is doing his part to pick up the slack on the mound. The left-hander is 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 28 2-3 innings over his last four starts.
"I just have to start the second half strong," Holland said. "I want to continue what I've been doing."
Holland has won four straight starts versus the Orioles with a 2.10 ERA. He earned an 8-5 victory at Baltimore on July 8, when he allowed five runs - three earned - in 6 2-3 innings, ringing up Davis for three of his seven strikeouts.
Nelson Cruz , one of three Rangers All-Stars on Tuesday, is a career .358 hitter against the Orioles - his highest average against any AL opponent.
He's been even better against them at Rangers Ballpark, hitting .392 with 22 RBIs in 19 games, including two hits in last year's playoff meeting.
|June 20, 2013||Steve Pearce||15-Day DL||Left wrist tendinitis|
|June 17, 2013||Jason Hammel||Day-to-Day||Illness|
|June 06, 2013||Steve Johnson||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|May 24, 2013||Pedro Strop||15-Day DL||Lower back strain|
|May 24, 2013||Pedro Strop||15-Day DL||Lower back strain|
|May 13, 2013||Wei-Yin Chen||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|July 12, 2013||Justin Grimm||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore right forearm|
|July 10, 2013||Yu Darvish||Day-to-Day||Strained upper back|
|July 07, 2013||Lance Berkman||15-Day DL||Left hip inflammation|
|July 07, 2013||Yu Darvish||15-Day DL||Upper back strain|
|July 06, 2013||Nick Tepesch||15-Day DL||Right elbow inflammation|
|June 21, 2013||Craig Gentry||15-Day DL||Fractured left hand|
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Nick Markakis is considered one of the best players for the Baltimore Orioles , even if he isn't one of their five All-Stars.
Markakis had an RBI double and saved a run with a home run-robbing catch for the Orioles in a 3-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Friday night.
"That was a great play. ... He had a big part in the game tonight," said Nate McLouth , who had an RBI double for the Orioles. "As far as right fielders, he's about as good as they come. He can swing the bat a little, too."
Matt Wieters homered and Wei-Yin Chen (5-3) pitched into the seventh inning as the Orioles gave Buck Showalter his 250th victory since being hired by the team in July 2010.
Showalter joined Joe Torre , Gene Mauch and Dick Williams as the only major league managers to win 250 games with at least four different teams. Showalter won more than 250 games with the New York Yankees (1992-95), Arizona (1998-2000) and Texas (2003-06), where he was replaced by current Rangers manager Ron Washington .
"You had to mention four different teams. Count the losses, I probably have as many of them," Showalter said. "Been fortunate to have good players. Tonight was a good example of that."
Baltimore never trailed after Wieters' 13th homer, a solo shot in the second. After No. 9 hitter Brian Roberts walked to lead off the third, he scored on McLouth's double for a 2-0 lead.
The run-saving grab by right fielder Markakis came when Adrian Beltre led off the Texas fourth. Markakis leaped and stuck his glove above the 8-foot wall to make the catch.
"I feel Beltre's pain, but it was a great play by Nick," All-Star shortstop J.J. Hardy said. "(Markakis) has been the guy for eight years and never been an All-Star. We all recognize it and I think the fans do too."
Left-hander Chen allowed only one run and eight hits and two walks over 6 1-3 innings. Jim Johnson worked the ninth for his majors-best 34th save even after allowing a hit and hitting a batter.
Rangers left-hander Derek Holland (8-5) allowed three runs and six hits in an eight-inning span when he threw 119 pitches. He struck out six and walked three.
"I thought he threw the ball extremely well. He certainly threw it well enough that on any other night he might have got a victory," said manager Ron Washington , who visited Holland on the mound in the eighth. "When I went out there, I was just going out there to see how he felt."
Orioles' All-Star slugger Chris Davis , the major league leader with 37 home runs, was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts. The Texas native traded to Baltimore from the Rangers nearly two years ago did have a nice play at first base when he reached into the seats to catch Beltre's foul pop leading off the eighth.
Manny Machado reached on a two-out infield single in the fifth and scored on the double by Markakis, the seventh overall draft pick by Baltimore in 2003.
Jeff Baker and Craig Gentry both returned to the Texas lineup after being activated from the disabled list, and produced the Rangers run.
Baker had two hits and was involved in usual plays while running the bases after both.
After his single in the fourth, Mitch Moreland drew a walk. Baker was jogging toward second base when Chen has his head down kicking dirt on the front of the mound and All-Star third baseman Machado was way off his base and not watching. So Baker took off for the third, and was credited with a stolen base before scoring on Gentry's sacrifice fly.
"As soon as I saw him put his head down, I just went and I was able to get in there pretty easy," Baker said. "I probably get one a year. You don't have to be really fast to be a good base runner."
Baker was at first after a leadoff single in the sixth when Gentry doubled into the right-center field gap. Baker was already rounding third base hard with coach Gary Pettis waving him home before the coach suddenly threw up a stop sign. Baker tried to scamper back but was thrown out on an 8-6-5 play.
" I see him waving me," Baker said. "Then I hit the bag, then I see him put up the stop sign and I tried to get back the best I could and they had me."
Notes: Texas has lost five of its past six games. ... It was the third straight year Holland started the Rangers' first game after the All-Star break. He pitched 16 2-3 scoreless innings winning the previous two. ... In three regular-season games as an opponent at Rangers Ballpark, Davis is 1 for 12 with seven strikeouts.