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BALTIMORE - Some people like to mark their birthday with a cake and candles. Nelson Cruz has a different approach. Cruz hit his 26th home run on his 34th birthday, and the Baltimore Orioles breezed past the skidding Texas Rangers 8-3 Tuesday night. "A homer and a victory. That was a nice day," Cruz said. "I like to celebrate with homers." In five career games on his birthday, Cruz is 7 for 19 with two long balls. On this night, his third home run in seven games left him only seven short of his career high of 33, set in 2009 with Texas. Cruz needs one more homer to match his total from last year with the Rangers, a season cut short by a 50-game suspension as part of the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drug scandal. None of that really matters to Cruz. After signing a one-year, $8 million contract with Baltimore during the off-season, he is focused on helping the Orioles earn a post-season berth for the second time in three years. "Its been a blessing. Im happy with the situation that we are as a team," he said. "Thats more important to me. The numbers, at the end of the season were going to look at it. But right now we focus on winning games, and thats what were doing." Steve Pearce and Caleb Joseph also went deep for the Orioles, who are assured of at least a split of the four-game series after winning the first two. Pearce and Cruz delivered solo shots in the first inning and Joseph connected with a man on in the second. It was the third homer in two nights for Pearce. T.J. McFarland (1-1) allowed two runs in a career-high five innings to win his second career start compared to 51 relief appearances. "He pitched as well as we thought he could," manager Buck Showalter said. "He makes our bullpen better, but its nice to know that you have that type of option down there with a guy if you can get the proper rest." Rangers rookie Nick Martinez (1-6) gave up eight runs, six earned, and seven hits in five innings. The right-hander is 0-5 with an 8.10 ERA in seven starts since earning his lone career win at Detroit on May 24. "I feel like I pitched better than what it showed," Martinez said. The Rangers (37-46) have lost 11 of 13 overall to fall nine games under .500 for the first time since they were 9-18 on April 29, 2008. Texas has dropped seven straight on the road, its longest such skid in six seasons. Shortstop Elvis Andrus, who made a key error, said: "As a player I always get mad when Im not enjoying the game, and thats exactly whats happening right now." For the second game in a row, Baltimore homered twice in the first inning. Pearce hit a liner in front of the left-field foul pole that glanced off the glove of Shin-Soo Choo and dropped over the wall. One out later, Cruz smacked a 1-1 pitch over the centre-field wall. Texas pulled even in the second when Adam Rosales hit a two-run double in his first at-bat of the season. In the bottom half, Joseph drove a 3-1 pitch into the front row of the left-field seats for a 4-2 lead. The three homers allowed by Martinez were a career high. The Orioles used three hits, a walk and an error to pull away with a four-run fourth. With the bases loaded, Andrus fumbled Josephs potential double-play grounder to allow a run to score. Nick Markakis followed with an RBI double and Pearce added a sacrifice fly. "It was an easy ground ball," Andrus said. "No excuse about it." Chris Gimenez hit a run-scoring grounder off Ryan Webb in the Texas sixth. But the Rangers went quietly after that in their ninth loss in 10 games against Baltimore, dating to last year. NOTES: Texas designated LHP Joe Saunders for assignment and recalled RHP Miles Mikolas from Triple-A Round Rock. Mikolas will make his first major league start on Wednesday. Nick Tepesch, who was slated to start Wednesday, was pushed back to Friday against the Mets. ... The Orioles activated OF Nolan Reimould (spine) from the 60-day DL and designated him for assignment. The oft-injured Reimold, 30, has played in 56 games since the start of the 2012 season. ... Texas Roughned Odor had two hits to snap a 4-for-29 skid. Brett Favre Jersey .Two San Francisco radio stations say they wont play the song during the duration of the World Series. A Kansas City, Missouri, station responded with plans to play the Grammy-winning track every hour from 7 a. Arnie Herber Jersey . THE THUNDER & PACERS BENCHES: In a nutshell, not impressive at all. http://www.custompackersjersey.com/cust ... 2132r.html . The same cant be said of last Saturdays 2-2 draw at Olympic Stadium against a very weakened New York Red Bulls side and one which had three stalwarts in Henry, Cahill and Olave back home in Harrison, NJ. Rashan Gary Jersey ., climbed from seventh to fifth spot in womens competition Sunday at the ISU world junior figure skating championships. David Bakhtiari Jersey .com) - Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price is set to return Tuesday against Nashville after sitting out the past two games because of a minor upper body injury. SAN ANTONIO -- The Spurs beat the Heat. Miami couldnt beat the heat. And there was the story of Game 1 of the NBA Finals. With LeBron James unable to play in the final 3:59 because of cramps throughout the left side of his body, and on a night where an air conditioning failure inside San Antonios arena had temperatures hovering near 90 degrees, the Heat simply withered in the final minutes. As their four-time MVP could only watch, Miami watched as San Antonio pulled away in the final minutes for a 110-95 win on Thursday night in the opener of the title series. "Its frustration and theres anger," James said as he lay on a training table long after the game. "But at the same time, its something you try to prevent, you try to control. I got all the fluids I needed to get. I did my normal routine Ive done. Its something that was inevitable for me tonight. "It just sucks not being out there for your team, especially at this point of the season." James scored the last of his 25 points on a layup that got Miami within two. That was the end of his night; he stood still on the baseline afterward, unable to move his left leg because of cramping. His night was over, and soon, so was the game. The Spurs outscored the Heat by 13 the rest of the way, and took the series-opener for the second straight finals. The Heat were outscored 36-17 in the fourth quarter. Dwyane Wade scored 19 points, Chris Bosh added 18 and Ray Allen scored 16 for Miami. Rashard Lewis added 10 for the Heat. "I think it felt like a punch in the gut when you see your leader limping like that back to the bench," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "But at the same time we still had an opportunity." James has dealt with cramping issues several times in the past, including during the 2012 NBA Finals against Oklahoma City -- in a game in Miami. "Were used to having the hotter arena," Spoelstra said. Spoelstra insisted that the Heat would not use the temperature as an excuse, and said James tried to return to the game shortly after the cramp knocked him out. "I just looked at him and said, Dont even think about it. You cant even move," Spoelstra said. James didnt need much convincing.dddddddddddd He knew. Cramps, he said, were affecting nearly the whole left side of his body. "Any little step or nudge, it would get worse," James said. "It would lock up even worse. My muscles would just spasm at a 10 out of 10." Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Tony Parker added 19 points and Manu Ginobili finished with 16 points and 11 assists for San Antonio, which improved to 10-1 at home in the playoffs. James was affected throughout the second half, asking for breaks more than once, and some players placed ice bags on the backs of their necks in an effort to combat the temperature. Duncan said the heat was a significant factor in the game. "I dont know what happened to LeBron, but I think all of us were feeling the heat," Duncan said. "We were all dehydrated." If there is a bright side for James -- who used cold towels, drank what he could and even changed uniforms at halftime -- its that Game 2 isnt until Sunday. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich acknowledged afterward that James departure obviously played a role in the finish, though lauded the way his team executed in the deciding minutes. "Certainly could have been a different story. Theres no doubt about that," Popovich said. Its not the first time electricity has had a significant impact on a championship event in recent years. The Super Bowl in 2013 between Baltimore and San Francisco was marred by a power outage at the Superdome in New Orleans, interrupting play for 34 minutes. Power was the culprit in Game 1 of the finals as well, arena officials said. "An electrical failure for the power that runs the AC system in the AT&T Center has occurred," Spurs Sports and Entertainment said in a statement distributed in the second half. "We are continuing to work on resolving the problem. We apologize for any inconvenience." Many fans removed the giveaway black T-shirts handed out before the game, obviously wanting to wear as few layers inside the steamy building as possible. "Not NBA Finals worthy," Wade said of the conditions in the locker room afterward. "Ill tell you that. This is crazy." ' ' '
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