Rangers end seven game losing streak beating the Athletics 5-3 Friday night

a's nunez hr

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Game 160 is in the books for the Oakland Athletics and it will go into the loss column as the Texas Rangers won the game 5-3. After falling behind early in the game, the A’s fought their way back into the contest but could not overcome the Rangers five-run lead.

The end of a dream

The Athletics (74-86) went into the final four-game series in Texas with the goal of catching the Rangers in the standings and finishing the season in a tie for fourth-place in the American League West. The only way that could happen was for the A’s to sweep the series in Arlington. That cannot happen now and the A’s will finish alone in last place in the West.

Perez gets his revenge

The A’s chased Martin Perez from the game last Sunday in Oakland when they scored five runs off him in the bottom of the fifth-inning. Perez went to the showers after 4.2-innings on the mound and was tagged with the loss as the Athletics completed a sweep of the Rangers.

On Friday night, Perez worked 6.0 — innings giving up three runs (all earned) off five hits. He walked two and struck out two A’s. Perez allowed one home run.

Three Texas relief pitchers worked one inning each and allowed no runs and no hits in their time on the mound. The relievers worked the principle of the “Goose Eggs” to perfection. By allowing no runs in their three innings of relief work, they preserved the win for Perez.

Nunez chased Perez from the game

In the top of the seventh inning, Perez walked the leadoff batter Khris Davis. He then gave up a single to Ryon Healy that allowed Davis to move up to second base. That brought rookie Renato Nunez to the plate who took a 1-2 Perez fastball over the wall in right-center field for a three-run home run — the first of his MLB career. Unfortunately for the A’s, that would be the end of their scoring for the night.

Alcantara takes the loss

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Raul Alcantara made another start for Oakland on Friday night. He struggled in his 4.1-innings of work. Alcantara allowed four runs (all earned) on five hits. He walked two, struck out two and allowed one home run. Alcantara (1-2) was tagged with the loss.

The A’s used four relief pitchers. Moll gave up a run while Castro, Casilla and Coulombe were able to post “Goose Eggs”.

Texas was efficient at the plate

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The Rangers scored five runs off nine hits while leaving six runners on base. They were 2-for-3 with runners in scoring position.

  • Shin-Soo Choo tied a career high by hitting his 22nd home run of the season with a runner on base raising his RBI total to 78.
  • Elvis Andrus hit his 43rd double of the year.
  • DH Nomar Mazara went 2-for-4 with two RBI and run scored. He raised his RBI total to 99 for 2017.
  • Rookie Willie Calhoun — who was born in Vallejo — went 3-for-4 in the game with an RBI.

A’s with the bats

  • Jed Lowrie broke the all-time Oakland record for doubles in a season when he hit number 48 off Perez Friday night. Jason Giambi was the previous record holder with 47.
  • The A’s scored three runs on seven hits while leaving seven men on base.
  • Oakland went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

Up next on Saturday

The A’s will send right-hander Daniel Gossett (1-4, 6.81) to the hill to face the Rangers RHP Andrew Cashner (7-4, 3.42). First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m.

Photos by USA Today Sports Andrew Dieb

Rangers Derail A’s Comeback, Rout Athletics 14-8

By Matthew Harrington

OAKLAND, Calif. — When the Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers last met at O.Co Coliseum for a three-game set April 21-23, the visitors scored 12 runs total en route to a sweep. The series marked a tightly-pitched affair after Rangers hurlers stifled the potent A’s offense to just seven runs and three-straight losses. The A’s welcomed Texas back to Alameda County Monday night in a game no one would confuse for a pitchers’ duel. Texas tallied 14 runs while the A’s scored eight runs, both surpassing the team totals from the April set at the Coliseum.

Rangers first baseman Donnie Murphy picked up three RBIs on a pair of home runs, his fourth career multi-homer game while Yoenis Cespedes went 1 for 3 with four runs batted in for the A’s. Brandon Moss also homered for Oakland, but four Texas long balls lifted the Rangers (35-35) passed the Green and Gold 14-8. The loss matches the second-largest margin of defeat the A’s (42-28) have suffered all season, with only last Friday’s 7-0 shutout at the hands of the Yankees marking a worse run differential.

Neither starting pitcher hurled a memorable game but Rangers righty Colby Lewis (5-4, 5.97 ERA) threw well enough to pick up the win. He went 5 1/3 innings allowing fives runs. Pomeranz (5-4, 2.91) struggled to complete 3 2/3 innings, serving up eight Texas runs (seven earned) on eight hits on start removed from a seven inning, one-run performance against the Los Angeles Angels.

“I wasn’t as sharp in the beginning,” said Pomeranz. “I actually felt really good up there. They were patient at the plate. I didn’t make some pitches, they just waited for some mistakes.”
The A’s bullpen yielded six runs, with Ryan Cook , Jeff Francis and Fernando Abad all guilty of surrendering two runs apiece. The A’s committed three errors.

After Pomeranz held the Rangers in check to open the first inning, Coco Crisp had the A’s running right out of the gate. Crisp ripped a 2-2 pitch to left-center for a double, then came around to score on John Jaso’s flare to shallow center. Jaso, one of three catchers in A’s manager Bob Melvin’s line-up, advanced to second base on the throw to the plate. Lewis gifted Jaso third base after bouncing a wild pitch to backstop Robinson Chirinos. The free base allowed Jaso to score easily after Cespedes lofted the 2-1 delivery to left fielder Michael Choice for the sacrifice fly.

“We had some opportunities early,” said Melvin. “We went ahead 2-0. We had some opportunities in the next inning and we didn’t come through. We didn’t play a great game after that. Even though in the later innings we came back and made a game of it, it was just not far enough.”

Adrian Beltre and Alex Rios reached base to open the second, then advanced into scoring position on a Donnie Murphy sacrifice bunt. Chirinos then wrapped a two-run base hit to tie the ballgame after battling Pomeranz in a full count.

Former A’s utility man Donnie Murphy provided the tie-shattering blast in the fourth inning, depositing a no-out, two-run home run over the wall in deep left center. The first basemen entered play amidst a 0-for-14 cold snap at the plate before emphatically turning around his fortunes. The Rangers tacked on four more runs in the inning, highlighted by a two-out, two-run double off the bat of former American League All-star Beltre for a comfortable 8-2 advantage.

Michael Choice, the Rangers haul for shipping Craig Gentry to Oakland in the offseason, burned his former parent club with a two-run shot of his own. The dinger snapped 16 at-bats without a hit for the right-hander, placing Choice amongst Chirinos (3), Beltre (3) and Murphy (3) for Rangers with two RBIs or more Monday night. Chirinos and Murphy would later hit back-to-back homers off Fernando Abad in the ninth inning, the first two extra-base hits the southpaw has allowed this season.

A’s clean-up hitter Brandon Moss lifted his 17th home run of the season to bring Oakland within seven runs. Moss now has 31 big flys since the 2013 All-Star Break, tied with Edwin Encarnacion for the second most in the Major Leagues during that time. The Lone Star sluggers answered back, scoring on a rare sacrifice fly to third base for their 11th run.

Oakland scratched out a run of its own in the bottom half of the inning after back-to-back doubles from Alberto Callaspo and Coco Crisp to chase Lewis after four runs. Callaspo, returning from paternity leave Monday night, went 4 for 5 while sporting a new uniform number. The A’s second basemen donned a “7” between his shoulder blades Monday night.

Cespedes added three runs on a towering shot later in the inning, his 13th homer of the season, to cut the deficit to 11-7. Callaspo chipped in a run-scoring base hit in the eighth.

Kyle Blanks, who entered the game as a pinch hitter for John Jaso in the sixth, came up to the plate in the eighth representing the tying run with Callaspo at second and Vogt at first. He worked a full count off Neal Cotts but froze on a fastball right at the knees for strike three. In total, the A’s stranded 12 runners.
The Rangers added three more runs over the final two innings while holding the A’s in check despite a two-hit ninth inning rally.

“We scored some runs tonight,” said Melvin. “We’re a club that leads the league in pitching. We’re used to holding teams under four runs. The last couple games we haven’t been able to do that.”

Submariner Ben Rowen finished off the win, coaxing a ground ball out from Blanks to wrap up game one of the series. Tuesday’s match-up won’t be any easier for the A’s, with Texas sending Yu Darvish and his 2.11 ERA to the mound to face Tommy Milone.

A’s outlast Rangers, 9-8

PhotoBy George Devine, Sr

If the A’s – now 4.5 games ahead in the AL West – go on to win the division, this night will probably be remembered as a key to their success. Ahead 9-3, Oakland came into the final frame with only a one-run lead, and prevailed 9-8 over the Texas Rangers at Arlington.

Yoenis Cespedes seemed to set the tone for the evening with a three-run homer to left center in the first. But the Rangers answered with two in the bottom of the inning, Dan Straily walked two, and a single by Adrian Beltre followed by A.J. Pierzynski’s sac fly made it a one-run game.

In the third, Josh Donaldson hit his 22nd homer of the year, to left. In the fourth, he doubled to center, after Derek Norris and Kurt Suzuki had singled to the same location. The fifth inning saw Alberto Callaspo walk, then advance to second as Chris Young singled to left, and to third when Norris singled to right. Callaspo scored when Suzuki walked, bringing Norris to second and Young to third. Young came home when Coco Crisp sacrificed to center. Brandon Moss homered to right center in the sixth.

In the home eight, the Rangers’ bats came to life. Beltre walked on Brett Anderson, as did Pierzynski. Anderson then left the game due to what were described as back spasms, to be replaced by Jesse Chavez. Jim Adduci’s base hit to left loaded the bases. Leonys Martin subsequently reached on an infield base hit. Ryan Cook walked Ian Kinsler and that forced in a run. Elvis Andrus single to right, and the margin was trimmed to 9-6. The runners on base moved ahead on a passed ball. Alex Rios’ base hit then posted two more runs.

Sean Doolittle held the 9-8 lead through the ninth, as the game’s elapsed time passed the four-hour mark. He picked up his second save of the season. The winner is Straily (10-7; 5.2 ip, 2 h, 2 er, 4 w, 4 k) and the loser Derek Holland (9-8; 3 ip, 8 h, 6 er, 1 w, 2 k, 2 hr).

The two teams atop the AL West meet again at 10:05 a.m. PDT on Saturday, September 14 with Bartolo Colon (15-6) facing Yu Darvish (12-8).