by Jerry Feitelberg
AP photo: Oakland A’s Josh Phegley (19) is congratulated by Billy Butler (16) after hitting a three run homer off Texas Rangers pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen in the fourth inning Monday at the Oakland Coliseum
OAKLAND–The A’s battered Texas Ranger pitching Monday night as they won a laugher by a score of 14-5. The A’s had seventeen hits and scored four in the third, five in the fourth and four more in the fifth to put the game in the win column. Rangers starter Cesar Ramos lasted just 3.2 inning sand gave up eight runs on eight hits. Reliever Tom Wilhelmsen fared worse. Wilhelmsen lasted just one inning, and the A’s were able to hit him as if he was a batting practice pitcher. He gave up six runs and nine hits in his one inning of work.
The A’s drew first blood in the bottom of the first. Coco Crisp led off with a single. Marcus Semien and Danny Valencia followed with singles to load the bases. Khris Davis reached first on a fielder’s choice; Crisp scored on the play. A’s lead 1-0.
The A’s scored four runs in the third to take a 5-0 lead. Only two of the runs were earned. Coco led off with a walk. After Semien struck out, Valencia hit a rocket that Rangers’ could not handle. Andrus was charged with an error. Khris Davis slammed his fifteenth dinger of the year to put the A’s up by four. Davis now has forty RBIs for the year. The A’s weren’t finished as they loaded the bases with two out. The fourth run scored on a sac fly by Yonder Alonso. The inning ended on a base running blunder by Jake Smolinski. Smolinski attempted to tag up and advance to second on the play, but the alert Ranger defense caught him in between first and second and they tagged him out.
The Rangers got on the board in the fourth. With two out, Rangers’ left fielder Ryan Rua hit a wicked shot down the third base line. Valencia made the stop, but his throw sailed over Alonso’s head. Rua wound up on second. Manaea hit Prince Fielder with a pitch to put two men on base. Andrus singled to drive in Rua with the run. Manaea struck out Mitch Moreland to end the inning.
The A’s batted around in the bottom of the fourth. They scored five runs on five hits to take a commanding 10-1. lead. The big blow was an “Earl Weaver” special, a three-run tater off the bat of A’s catcher Josh Phegley. It was the first homer of the year for Josh. All the runs came after two were out in the frame.
The Rangers added a run in their half of the fifth. With one out, Shin-soo Choo hit his first home run of the year to close the gap to 10-2. A’s manager Bob Melvin had to take Manaea out of the game due to a possible injury. Daniel Coulombe was given extra time to warm up, and he retired the next two hitters he faced.The A’s batted around again in the fifth. They scored four more runs and had six hits to own a 14-2 lead.
The Rangers’ Ryan Rua hit a two-run homer in the sixth, but the Rangers still trail by ten 14-4. Mitch Moreland homered in the ninth for Texas. Too little, too late. A’s win a laugher 14-5.
Game Notes- The A’s won their second game in a row and have now defeated Texas in all four games played. The A’s starter Sean Manaea left the game in the fifth inning with a left pronator muscle strain. There in no information at this time if he will have to go on the DL. Reliever Daniel Coulombe received credit for his first Major League victory.
The A’s face the Rangers Tuesday in game two of the four-game series. Lefty Eric Surkamp will pitch for Oakland and will be opposed by the Rangers’ lefty Martin Perez(5-4, 3.22)
Time of game was three hours and six minutes, and there were 13,453 people on hand to watch the A’s pound the Rangers.