BALTIMORE (AP) – David Dellucci hit a tiebreaking ninth-inning homer, and Alfonso Soriano also connected to lead the Texas Rangers past the Baltimore Orioles 2-1 Thursday night.

Texas took three of four from the sinking Orioles, who lost starting pitcher Sidney Ponson with a bruised right thumb. Baltimore has dropped eight of nine and is one game over .500 for the first time since April 14.

Dellucci snapped a 1-all tie with his 18th homer, a two-out drive on a 1-2 pitch from Chris Ray (0-2).

Ricardo Rodriguez pitched seven-plus innings for Texas, allowing one run and six hits. Kameron Loe (5-3) worked out of a jam in the eighth and Francisco Cordero got three outs for his 24th save.

The Orioles stranded 10 runners after leaving 16 on base in an 11-inning loss Wednesday.

In the eighth, Baltimore got runners on second and third with no outs before Loe retired Javy Lopez on a grounder and struck out Luis Matos. Third baseman Hank Blalock then made a diving stop on a grounder and threw out David Newhan at first.

Ponson left in the third inning after being struck by a line drive off the bat of Sandy Alomar. The right-hander marched off the mound and into the clubhouse before a team trainer could offer assistance.

Ponson was rumored to be headed out of Baltimore before Sunday’s non-waiver trade deadline, but now there’s some question when he can pitch again. He allowed two hits in 2 1-3 innings, and is 0-5 in seven starts since June 18.

After Ponson left, Tim Byrdak finished the inning and kept the Rangers scoreless through the fifth.

Baltimore took a 1-0 lead in the third when Newhan singled and scored on a two-out single by Melvin Mora. Newhan, recalled from Triple-A Ottawa on Wednesday, was playing his first game with the Orioles since July 6.

Soriano tied it in the sixth, driving Jason Grimsley’s third pitch into the left-field seats for his 26th home run.

Notes: Ponson is 8-1 lifetime against the Rangers, his lone loss coming on May 30, 1998. … Texas has won two of its last seven road series.

AP-ES-07-28-05 2150EDT


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