by Jerry Feitelberg
AP photo: Oakland A’s Coco Crisp swings for the fences with an eighth inning homer off Texas Rangers pitching on Wednesday night in Arlington
The Oakland A’s behind a good effort by lefty Sean Manaea, Ryan Dull, and Ryan Madson beat the Texas Rangers 6-4 Wednesday night in Arlington, Texas. The A’s backed the pitching with three home runs for a come-from-behind win. Manaea continued to pitch well. He went six and 2/3rds innings and allowed eleven hits and three runs. Manaea struck out a career- high nine batters and did not walk anyone. Manaea has now pitched twenty-seven straight innings without walking a single batter. The Rangers’ Yu Darvish also pitched very well. Darvish has not been successful against Oakland since his arrival in the big leagues in 2012. Darvish won the first game he pitched against Oakland but has lost eight straight since then. The A’s scored two in the first, but Darvish settled down and was in line for the win when he left the game after the sixth inning.
The A’s took a 2-0 lead in the first. Coco Crisp led off with a triple and scored on a Jed Lowrie sacrifice fly. Khris Davis, who loves to hit Ranger pitching, crushed his twenty-fourth of the year for the second run of the inning. The Rangers scored their first run of the night in the third and then took the lead in the bottom of the fifth when Ian Desmond hit a two-run blast off Manaea to put Texas ahead 3-2. Darvish had settled down and allowed the A’s just two more hits before his exit after the sixth inning. Darvish was on a strict pitch count as he had Tommy John surgery last year and shoulder soreness earlier in the season.
The A’s took advantage of the weak Texas bullpen as they scored four in the top of the eighth. Coco Crisp hit a two-run homer off Matt Bush and then Khris Davis also hit a two-run dinger. It was Davis’ twenty-fifth of the year.
Ryan Dull relieved Manaea with two out in the seventh, and he finished the seventh and eighth for the A’s and picked up the win. Ryan Madson gave up a run in the bottom of the ninth but was able to get the job done and secured the win for Oakland.
The A’s are now 9-4 since the All-Star break and have won their last four series. They are 47-55 and are just eight games under the .500 mark. The Rangers fall to 58-44 and lead the second-place Houston Astros by just 2 1/2 games in the AL West. The A’s are off on Thursday and resume play on Friday against the Cleveland Indians who are in first place in the AL Central. Kendall Graveman, who is 6-0 with an ERA of 3.25 in his last ten starts, will pitch for Oakland. The Indians will counter with Trevor Bauer.