But Arrieta's good work wasn't enough. Wilson retired 16 in a row at one point, and the Orioles managed only three hits and four baserunners as Texas ended a five-game losing streak against Baltimore with a 2-0 victory before 18,751 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Arrieta gave up two runs (one earned) on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings. He threw 111 pitches and has now given the Orioles (43-80) three quality starts in his past four outings.
More importantly, Arrieta (4-5) kept the Orioles close while Wilson (12-5) struck out 12 and allowed only three hits in his 8 2/3-inning effort. The Orioles were able to bring the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning, when pinch-hitter Luke Scott came up, but Neftali Feliz got him to pop up for his 30th save.
"Jake was really good, gave us a really good chance to win," Showalter said. "Some of our young guys seem to be getting stronger, giving us a really good chance to win. I thought he pretty much matched [Wilson] pitch for pitch."
Arrieta now has given up only two earned runs in 13 innings against Texas (68-53) this season. He never retired the Rangers in order, but worked his way out of a few jams without too much trouble.
"I threw the ball well," Arrieta said. "Just at times, tried to overthrow. I felt really good today. It was good overall."
But things didn't end up so good overall for the Orioles on some other fronts. Right fielder Nick Markakis was ejected for the first time in his career and Showalter was also tossed. Home-plate umpire Jeff Nelson threw both of them out after arguments about his strike zone.
Markakis is usually a quiet player, but he and Nelson started having a discussion during his sixth-inning at-bat. The right fielder struck out looking in his first two at-bats, and Nelson appeared to be upset with something Markakis said after the second pitch in the sixth.
Nelson then called the next two pitches, which appeared to be balls, strikes. After the punchout, Markakis said something quickly to Nelson, who threw him out.
"Nobody's perfect. People are going to make mistakes," Markakis said. "I got down in the hole; the second pitch, I said something to him. He didn't agree with me, and I didn't agree with him, and ... that kind of led up to that third pitch. I didn't use any words against him. I didn't use any profanity. He might not have liked the tone of my voice, but I didn't like the strike zone in that last at-bat."
Showalter felt frustrated afterward because he thought Nelson might have let his feelings creep into the game. The skipper was letting Nelson know some of his own feelings, before Nelson threw him out in the top of the ninth.
"You can't get emotionally involved as an umpire," Showalter said. "Unfortunately, it got kind of emotional there for him, and it's just not a good situation at all. We're trying just like they are. We're trying to keep the field level. It's unfortunate sometimes the people that seem to be a little more squawky get some of the benefits. That's unfortunate in our game, but we see it a lot when we head up towards the Bronx."
Crew chief Jeff Kellogg said the umpires would have no comment.
The Rangers scored in the second and seventh innings. They took the early 1-0 lead when Mitch Moreland sent a 3-2 pitch into the first row of the left-field seats.
"They all count the same, don't they?" said Moreland. "That's plenty enough for me. It counts, so I'm happy with it."
Texas threatened several times after that, but couldn't score again until the seventh. With one out and a man on, Elvis Andrus grounded to first and narrowly beat the throw to Arrieta, covering first, to avoid a double play keep the inning alive. He moved to second when Arrieta walked Michael Young and scored when Josh Hamilton blooped a single to right for the 2-0 lead.
Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.