Oakland, CA – The match-up was well anticipated, both teams hold the top two spots in the American League West. The Texas Rangers have won their last four games three included walk-off wins. Tonight they extended that winning streak with a 8-3 victory over the A’s.
Luckily for Oakland, they built a cushion to remain 2.5 games ahead of the Rangers. Extending their losing streak to three games, the A’s did get off to a good start in the first frame. With a 2-0 lead, Oakland took advantage of Alexi Ogando’s struggles early.
“It just didn’t feel good tonight,” Ogando said. “I didn’t have my control like I normally do. It was just one of those nights.”
He yielded a free pass to both Jed Lowrie and Yoenis Cespedes. Brandon Moss followed clearing the bases with a two-run double. Unfortunately, the A’s lead didn’t last long. Nelson Cruz blasted a 2-run homer to center field to tie the game 2-2.
“I felt fine early on, in the bullpen and the first inning,” said Tommy Milone. “Even in the second inning, it was just one bad pitch to Cruz. From the third on, it just escalated.”
Texas added two more runs in the third extending their 4-2. Oakland tried to come back bottom of the inning with two runners on in both corners. But Josh Donaldson hit into a double play to end the rally.
The defense collapsed and the errors began to pile up for the A’s. Craig Gentry grounded a double right past Josh Donaldson at third base to allow him to reach second safely. That set up Jurickson Profar’s two-run homer to left field.
“It’s frustrating,” Oakland’s manager Bob Melvin said. “We’re getting the opportunities, and if you continue to give yourself opportunities you’re going to break through at times. And it did seem like we were swinging the bats like we’re capable of, and then we’ve just been a little stagnant. We’ve been getting the baserunners, we’re just not getting the hits when we have the opportunity.”
Milone’s night on the mound ended after giving up a single to Leonys Martin in the fourth after Profar’s home run. Dan Otero came in and struck out Ian Kinsler to end the inning. Tommy’s outing lasted 3 2/3, yielding nine hits, six runs, two strikeouts and two home runs.
Coco Crisp cut the lead in half bottom of the frame, when he hit a double RBI to right-fielder Nelson [Cruz] who fumbled the ball off his glove. That was the A’s last run despite having an opportunity to score more runs in the fifth.
Robbie Ross loaded the bases with two outs. Runners were in scoring position after Ross gave up two singles and a wild pitch. Chris Young was to pinch-hit for Seth Smith and Rangers manager Ron Washington went to his bullpen and replaced Robbie with Jason Fraser. Melvin then replaced Young with Alberto Callaspo who flew out to center field to end the rally.
“This is what we’re capable of doing,” said Cruz who is facing suspension following his involvement with the Biogensis clinic. “We got into a slump, now I think we’re out of the slump. It couldn’t come at a better time.”
“You never know where things are going to end up,” said Brandon Moss. “They’ve played us well all year. I think they’ve definitely had our number a little bit, so we need to come out and win some games and get some confidence going and finish out the homestand positively.”