SCOUTING REPORT: RANGERS VS. ORIOLES

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Rangers update

Johnny Oates drags his team into Baltimore in the throes of a slump. Texas entered last night's game having lost seven in a row, including three in a row to the New York Yankees. The slide was initiated by the Orioles, who are 2-0 against the Rangers this season. That short series in Arlington was highlighted by Rafael Palmeiro's 13th-inning game-winning homer. Now it's Johnny's homecoming . . . and Mark McLemore's and Jack Voigt's. Oates has downplayed any revenge factor, but it will be interesting to see how he and the other former Orioles are received. They hope with a victory. Texas was six games behind California in the AL West going into last night. A wild-card berth seems like a more realistic postseason opportunity. They had a 2 1/2 -game lead over

the Orioles.

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