Oakland, CA – They scored seven runs on home runs and that’s why they’re in first place of the American League West. The A’s lost 10-3 to the Rangers who now have a three-game lead over the Houston Astros in the division. Oakland failed a second night against a dominant team that’s won three of the last four games.
“We’re playing well at one of the most crucial times of the year,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “Whether Houston won or lost, they don’t focus on the standings. It’s a midget, they’ve got to stay focused.”
The A’s jumped on the board first in the third but Texas wasn’t far behind. Colby Lewis issued a free pass to Brett Lawrie, followed by two back-to-back singles from Eric Sogard and Carson Blair who drove in Lawrie for the 1-0 lead. Lewis later loaded the bases with a walk to Josh Reddick with two outs.
Danny Valencia struck out swinging leaving three stranded to end the inning. By the fourth the Rangers scored four runs taking a 4-1 lead. Adrian Beltre had a base hit, Prince Fielder who was 0-for-20 snapped his hitless streak with a singled to right field. Mitch Moreland’s RBI single drove in Beltre to tie the game 1-1.
But Reddick’s fielding error allowed Fielder to advance to third. Elvis Andrus homered to center filed clearing the bases. Felix Doubront continued to unravel in the fifth. He gave up a double to Delino DeShields who advanced to third on Reddick’s second fielding error. Doubront walked Shin-Soo Choo and yielded his second home run to Beltre making it a 7-1 game.
“The first one, I just got too aggressive with the conditions of the field, but I should know better than that,” said Reddick. “The second one I just botched really bad. Came on too quick trying to get Delino at second and just got too far ahead of myself.”
Doubront has allowed five home runs in his last three starts, including a career-high three on September 13th at Texas, after surrendering just two home runs over his first ten games. Belter was a recipient of two of those three home runs. After striking out Moreland, Doubront was replaced by Arnold Leon. He tossed 4 2/3 frames, allowing eight hits and seven runs.
Oakland tried to rally in the sixth when Reddick led off the frame with a solo shot to right field, his 20th home run of the season. Valencia followed with a single but Lewis retired the next three batters ending the A’s chances to trim down the Rangers lead. Eric Sogard led off the seventh with his first home run of the season but again Oakland was unable to get their offense going.
The Rangers kept their distance in the ninth by adding on three more runs against a deflated A’s bullpen. Odor led off the inning with a solo home run, R.J. Alvarez walked Drew Stubbs. Will Venable doubled scoring in Stubbs, Choo drove in Venable with a single extending Texas lead 10-3. The hole has been dug to deep for Oakland to recover from this lead.