By Matthew Harrington
The Oakland Athletics (18-10) rode a huge seven-run third inning to exact revenge on the hosting Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park, sweeping their American League West foes one week after suffering the same fate at the hands of the enemy from the Lone Star State. With the series win, including a 12-1 game three blowout over the 2010 and 2011 World Series Runner-ups, the A’s now sit three games ahead of the Rangers (15-13) for first in the division, with the green and gold owning the best record in the AL.
Jesse Chaves (2-0, 1.89 ERA) pitched seven innings of one-hit baseball, surrendering no runs on eight strikeouts and a lone walk. Oakland tagged Rangers starter Robbie Ross Jr. (1-2, 3.86) for 10 runs, six earned, over 3 1/3 innings. The Athletics also knocked Rangers relievers Alexi Ogando and Shawn Tolleson for a run apiece.
Josh Donaldson, Yoenis Cespedes and Eric Sogard had RBI base hits in a seven-run third inning. Alberto Callaspo and Nick Punto also knocked in runs on outs in the frame. Derek Norris hit a run-scoring single in the fourth, as did Sogard to make it a 10-0 A’s lead. Callaspo plated Donaldson on a fifth-inning single off Ogando and Crisp launched a solo home run, his third of the season, to right center with two outs in the sixth to complete the A’s 12-run day.
Josh Wilson connected on an RBI double off reliever Luke Gregerson in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Rangers their lone score in the series finale. Jim Johnson gave up one hit in the ninth to finish off the A’s sweep of their divisional rival.
The A’s continue their road trip in first place, traveling to Boston to face the reigning World Series Champion Red Sox for a three-game set. The A’s will send Dan Straily to the mound to open the series after an off-day Thursday. The Red Sox rotation is yet to be set with a double-header against the Tampa Bay Rays on the books after a rainout Wednesday night.