Orioles 5, Rangers 1: Nate McLouth drove in two runs and scored once while Joe Saunders pitched 5 2/3 solid innings as visiting Baltimore topped Texas and advanced to the American League Division Series.
J.J. Hardy had two hits and an RBI for the Orioles, who will begin the ALDS against the East Division-rival New York Yankees on Sunday.
After recording only two hits over the first five innings, Baltimore began the sixth against Yu Darvish (0-1) with singles by Hardy and Chris Davis that put runners on the corners. Adam Jones followed with a fly ball to right field that plated Hardy for a 2-1 edge.
With a runner on second and two out in the seventh, Derek Holland came on in relief for Texas but provided little. After uncorking a wild pitch on his first offering that allowed pinch runner Robert Andino to move to third, Holland yielded an RBI single by McLouth that gave Baltimore a 3-1 lead.
Manny Machado delivered an RBI single and McLouth lifted a sacrifice fly in the ninth against Texas closer Joe Nathan.
Saunders (1-0), who was 3-7 with a 6.48 ERA in 11 previous starts against the Rangers, allowed one run and six hits with a walk and four strikeouts. Jim Johnson loaded the bases in the ninth before getting David Murphy on a flyout to seal the win and end Texas' hopes of a third straight World Series appearance.
Darvish yielded three runs - two earned - and five hits over 6 2/3 frames, striking out seven without a walk for the Rangers, who lost nine of their final 13 regular-season games to fall out of first place in the AL West.
The Orioles got on the board just four pitches into the game as leadoff hitter McLouth reached on first baseman Michael Young's error, stole second and scored on a single by Hardy. Texas answered quickly in the bottom of the first, when Ian Kinsler drew a leadoff walk, moved to third on Elvis Andrus' single and scored on Josh Hamilton's double-play grounder.
Saunders got out of a jam in the fourth, striking out Mike Napoli with runners on the corners and one out before inducing an inning-ending groundout by Geovany Soto.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Rangers RHP Koji Uehara, who began his major-league career with Baltimore in 2009, struck out the side in the eighth inning. ... Orioles LHP Brian Matusz entered with two out and a runner on second and fanned Hamilton on three pitches. Texas' slugger went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and stranded three baserunners. ... Kinsler, Andrus, Young and Nelson Cruz accounted for eight of the Rangers' nine hits. ... Saunders came into the night a career 0-6 in Texas.