BALTIMORE — Zach Britton found out the hard way how little room for error there is against a player hitting as well as Adrian Beltre is lately.
It's hard enough to get him out when throwing a perfect pitch. Make a mistake and you've got no chance.
Beltre went 4 for 4 with two homers – both off Britton – and a season-high five RBIs to lead the Texas Rangers to an 8-4 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night.
"Beltre beat me," Britton said. "I did him some favors by putting some guys on ahead of him. Just didn't make the quality pitch and left some balls out over the plate. He's not missing too many mistakes and didn't miss any today. Can't let a guy like that beat you, and I did."
Beltre also singled in the fourth, received an intentional walk in the seventh and delivered an RBI single in the ninth. The two homers gave him 20 for the season and put him in a tie with teammate Lance Berkman for 74th on the career list with 366, according to the Rangers.
Over the last six games, Beltre has six home runs. He's batting .488 (21 for 43) during an 11-game hitting streak that began on June 28.
His latest power surge came at the expense of Britton, who was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk after the game along with reliever Kevin Gausman. The corresponding moves will come Wednesday, with one of them being the activation of lefty Wei-Yin Chen from the disabled list.
Britton won't soon forget Beltre's performance.
"If he beats me on two good pitches, I'd be happy with it," Britton said. "He's just a hot hitter. But those are two bad pitches, especially right there."
With Beltre leading the way, Texas has won 14 of 19 to move a season-high 16 games over .500 (53-37) – tied for the second-best record in franchise history after 90 games. The Rangers have scored at least five runs in six straight games and have won four in a row on the road.
Manny Machado homered for the Orioles, who have lost six of eight.
Asked how the Orioles can snap out of their skid, Machado said, "Keep playing baseball. That's all we can do, all we can control. We're just in a little slump right here and we've got to keep grinding. It's a long season. It's 162 games, it's not 10 games that we've been struggling."
Baltimore is 3-12 in its last 15 regular-season games against Texas.
Martin Perez (3-1) allowed four runs, two earned, and six hits in six-plus innings for the Rangers. The left-hander is 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA in four starts since being recalled from Triple-A Round Rock on June 22.
Perez, who came in with a run of 17 straight scoreless innings, added to the total with a perfect first. But the streak ended in the second when the Orioles used singles by Matt Wieters, Nate McLouth and Brian Roberts to pull even at 1.
Machado hit a solo drive in the third, his seventh of the season and only the second since May 5.
Texas went up 5-2 in the fifth. After Nelson Cruz singled in a run, Beltre hit a shot into the left-field seats for his 25th career multihomer game.
Britton gave up five runs and eight hits in five innings. In his only other appearance against the Rangers, the left-hander pitched 7 2-3 scoreless innings in April 2011.
The Orioles closed to 5-4 in their half of the fifth. Two botched grounders preceded a two-out, two-run single by J.J. Hardy.
The Rangers added two runs in seventh. Leonys Martin walked and scored on a double by Jurickson Profar, and A.J. Pierzynski hit an RBI single following an intentional walk to Beltre.
NOTES: Chen (oblique strain) is slated to start Wednesday night. Texas will counter with right-hander Josh Lindblom, who will be making his first start since June 20. ... Texas RHP Colby Lewis threw live batting practice Tuesday in his bid to return from offseason surgery on his right arm. "Overall, I felt great," Lewis said, although he acknowledged he needs to improve his arm strength. ... Beltre has six HRs in his last 11 games at Camden Yards.