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Yu Darvish pitches well and Koji Uehara strikes out all three batters he faced, but Texas offense inept loses to Baltimore and ends season

The Baltimore Orioles’ improbable ride continued on Friday when they hammered the two-time defending American League (AL) champion Texas Rangers 5-1 in the first ever one-game AL wildcard showdown.

For Texas, sluggers Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre were a combined 0-for-8 in the middle of the order and Japanese starter Yu Darvish went 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out seven.

Fast-pitching Koji Uehara entered the game in the 8th inning and struck out all three batters he faced to retire the side.

It was a crushing end to their 2012 campaign for the Rangers who lost the AL West crown after dropping nine of their last 13 regular-season games.

Back in the playoffs for the first time since 1997, Wei-yin Chen and Baltimore now head home to host the AL East champion New York Yankees and Ichiro Suzuki in the opening game of the best-of-five divisional series on Sunday.

via Orioles stun Rangers 5-1 to win wildcard – chicagotribune.com.

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