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Unprecedented 3-error game by Hardy as Orioles lose 8-6 to Rangers, miss chance at sweep

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ARLINGTON, Texas - J.J. Hardy and the Baltimore Orioles were ready to go home at the end of a long trip that ended with their All-Star shortstop's unprecedented three-error game.

After only one two-error game in his career before Thursday night, Hardy made two errors in a span of three batters that led to the tiebreaking run for the Texas Rangers in their 8-6 victory to avoid a three-game sweep.

"It's just one of those nights you want to put in the back of your mind," said Hardy, who had an earlier throwing miscue to give him three errors for the first time in 1,153 career games at shortstop since 2005. "I definitely want to forget about it. Just a night for me I'd like to forget."

The Rangers blew an early 5-0 lead, but their three-run seventh started when speedy No. 9 batter Rougned Odor had an infield single off reliever Brian Matusz (2-2). Hardy made a nice fielding play in the hole, but his errant throw let Odor advance to second.

Odour scored when Hardy misplayed a grounder hit by Elvis Andrus to make it 6-5. Alex Rios and Chris Jimenez then added consecutive RBI singles off Preston Guilmet, the fifth Baltimore pitcher.

"I had to make a quick throw on (Odour) and I just threw it a little too low. The next one, I can't explain it. I just missed it," Hardy said. "It's been a long road trip — like a really long road trip — so it'll be good to get home."

Hardy, an All-Star for the second time last season, had only one multi-error game before then. That came seven years ago Friday, when he had two in a game for Milwaukee.

"Nobody in this clubhouse thinks twice about it," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. "It's an honour to watch him play every night and I'm blessed to have had him pass my way, so we don't give that two thoughts."

Adam Jones had three RBIs for the Orioles, who after going 5-5 on the trip play their next 10 games, and 20 of 26, at home.

Jones had a two-run double in the fifth and a homer leading off the eighth. Nick Markakis also homered for Baltimore, a two-run shot in the third.

After doubling off Rangers starter Colby Lewis, Jones scored on a single by Chris Davis that tied it 5-all.

"We know our offence is potent and five runs early, it looked like it was out-of-hand, but trust our offence," Jones said. 'It was early, and we knew we didn't have to get them all back in one inning. We were able to get them and get them quick. But the Rangers' offence is good too. ... They capitalized on some of our miscues."

Robbie Ross (2-4) struck out two in two scoreless innings before Tanner Scheppers, another reliever who started this season in the Texas starting rotation, gave up the homer to Jones. Joakim Soria worked a perfect ninth for his 12th save in 13 chances.

Baltimore starter Chris Tillman faced only 11 batters, and was gone without recording an out in the second inning. Nine of the batters reached base, including all five in the second.

Tillman pitched in place of Miguel Gonzalez, the right-hander who was scratched a day before his scheduled start because of soreness in his side.

"We ran out of bullets. Do what you can do to win that ball game, but it's been a long, challenging road trip," Showalter said. "I think everybody's looking forward to friendly faces."

NOTES: Baltimore had won six straight in Texas, including the 2012 American League wild card game. ... Texas picked RHP Luis Ortiz from Sanger High School in California with the 30th overall pick in the draft. That was the Rangers' compensation pick for the Orioles signing Nelson Cruz, who was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts in the series finale.

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