for this game

A's take series at Texas, cut AL West gap to 7 1/2

Aug 29, 2010 - 11:28 PM By STEPHEN HAWKINS AP Sports Writer

ARLINGTON, Texas(AP) -- Gio Gonzalez provided quite a follow-up to Dallas Braden, going to a near extreme to copy his Oakland teammate while pitching the Athletics to a series-clinching victory over AL West-leading Texas.

A day after Braden threw a shutout, Gonzalez limited the Rangers to two runs over six innings Sunday to win his third straight start, an 8-2 victory that cut Oakland's division deficit to 7 1/2 games.

"I was just trying to follow in the footsteps behind a guy who pitched a great game," Gonzalez said. "The Rangers are a great hitting team, but we've been doing our homework. We sat down and went through it with Dallas. He gave me a pep talk on each one of them and it worked."

Gonzalez (12-8) left with a 7-2 lead after throwing 65 of his 95 pitches for strikes on another hot day in Texas. The left-hander, now 7-1 with a 2.10 ERA in 10 day games this season, even talked to the baseball - a la Braden.

"I had a pep talk with the baseball today ... It's the first time. I guess he's rubbing off too much on me," Gonzalez said. "After Hamilton's homer, I got the ball and started yelling at it. 'C'mon, do your job.' Then the baseball told me to calm down. I'm losing my mind."

Josh Hamilton drove in both Texas runs, with a two-out bloop RBI single in the third and his 31st homer in the sixth. Hamilton has five homers his past 10 games and raised his majors-best batting average to .359.

Hamilton's 403-foot blast off the facade of the second deck of seats in right field was the only homer Gonzalez allowed his last seven starts.

Mark Ellis and Kevin Kouzmanoff homered for the A's off Colby Lewis (9-11), while Cliff Pennington snapped out of a 2-for-24 slide with two singles and a sacrifice squeeze bunt.

Lewis missed on his eighth attempt to get his 10th victory, and six of the season-high seven runs he gave up in 5 2-3 innings were earned. The unearned run came after his throwing error on what should have been an inning-ending double play.

"You have a job to do, period. Apparently, I didn't do it today," Lewis said. "I didn't make pitches when I needed to, and of course didn't make a play when I needed to. Definitely, I take that burden."

There is only one more series between the AL West's top two teams the final five weeks of the regular season. That is a four-game set Sept. 23-26 at Oakland, which has an 8-7 series lead after winning the pitching gems by Braden and Gonzalez.

"Don't count us out yet. We're still fighting," Gonzalez said.

"Nobody's given up on this. Everybody's trying to win every single game. These guys fight all the time," manager Bob Geren said when asked if his team could catch Texas. "If our offense continues to swing the bats the way they are and match the great pitching we have, then yes, definitely."

Lewis had his shortest outing since pitching only five innings July 16 at Boston when he got his ninth victory. Lewis is 0-6 since and Texas has scored only eight runs while he was on the mound in those eight games.

"We got outpitched today, got outpitched yesterday. Pitching stops everything," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We lost two games, that's all it was."

Oakland went ahead to stay when Ellis broke a 1-all tie with his third homer, a towering flyball that dropped just beyond the 14-foot wall in left-center field.

The A's scored twice in the fifth for a 4-1 lead after Lewis' throwing error on Kurt Suzuki's comebacker. Lewis threw the ball way wide of second base and into center. Pennington scored and Daric Barton moved from first to third before then scoring on an inning-ending double play.

"It was just a normal play ... I just didn't make the throw," Lewis said. "I don't think it was the turning point. I gave up eight hits, two of them hard-hit. That was it. They singled me to death."

First baseman Jorge Cantu then snagged Jack Cust's hard grounder at the bag, wiping out the force at second. Suzuki got caught up between first and second and avoided being tagged long enough for Barton to score.

Kouzmanoff led off the sixth with his 12th homer, before consecutive singles set up Pennington's squeeze bunt and Coco Crisp's RBI single to chase Lewis.

NOTES: Oakland is 30-13 in day games, best in the majors. ... Texas plays its next 10 games on the road. ... The Rangers plan to activate RF Nelson Cruz (right hamstring) from the disabled list before Monday night's game in Kansas City. He played three rehab games for Double-A Frisco. ... Washington said every Texas pitcher in the rotation will get an extra day off rest with the upcoming off day Thursday. That includes struggling Cliff Lee, who has pitched every fifth day for Texas since he was acquired July 9.








  • Rangers 2, Athletics 8 - FINAL
    OAKLAND ab r h rbi bb so lob avg
    C Crisp cf 4 0 2 1 1 2 1 .274
    D Barton 1b 2 1 0 1 2 0 1 .279
    K Suzuki c 5 0 0 0 0 1 4 .245
    J Cust dh 4 1 1 0 1 1 5 .275
    K Kouzmanoff 3b 5 1 2 1 0 2 1 .262
    M Ellis 2b 5 1 2 1 0 0 1 .252
    J Lar

    Aug 29 5:55 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY MATT CARSON SCORED JACK CUST
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M ELLIS ON SECOND, K KOUZMANOFF ON THIRD, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 8
    TEXAS 2 TOP,9TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: R DAVIS (.275, 2-FOR-4)

    Athletics 8, Rangers 2  Top 9, 0 OutsAug 29 5:47 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JOSH HAMILTON (31) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 6TH OFF GIO GONZALEZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 7, TEXAS 2
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: V GUERRERO (.298, 0-FOR-2)

    Athletics 7, Rangers 2  Bot 6, 0 OutsAug 29 4:53 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY COCO CRISP SCORED RAJAI DAVIS
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, C CRISP ON FIRST, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 7
    TEXAS 1 TOP,6TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: D BARTON (.280, 0-FOR-1, BB, SF, RBI)

    Athletics 7, Rangers 1  Top 6, 0 OutsAug 29 4:42 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE HIT BY CLIFF PENNINGTON SCORED GABE GROSS
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R DAVIS ON SECOND, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 6
    TEXAS 1 TOP,6TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: C CRISP (.268, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Athletics 6, Rangers 1  Top 6, 0 OutsAug 29 4:40 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY KEVIN KOUZMANOFF (12) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 6TH OFF COLBY LEWIS.
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 5, TEXAS 1
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: M ELLIS (.251, 1-FOR-2, HR, RBI)

    Athletics 5, Rangers 1  Top 6, 0 OutsAug 29 4:33 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND DP BY JACK CUST SCORED DARIC BARTON
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, 0 LEFT ON, 3 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 4
    TEXAS 1 TOP,5TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: K KOUZMANOFF (.259, 0-FOR-2)

    Athletics 4, Rangers 1  Top 5, 0 OutsAug 29 4:26 PM
  • 32
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 32 roots

    Athletics 4, Rangers 1  Bot 5, 0 OutsAug 29 4:26 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY COLBY LEWIS ALLOWED CLIFF PENNINGTON TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K SUZUKI ON FIRST, D BARTON ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 3
    TEXAS 1 TOP,5TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: J CUST (.273, 0-FOR-2)

    Athletics 3, Rangers 1  Top 5, 0 OutsAug 29 4:24 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MARK ELLIS (3) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF COLBY LEWIS.
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 2, TEXAS 1
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: J LARISH (.200, 0-FOR-1)

    Athletics 2, Rangers 1  Top 4, 0 OutsAug 29 4:02 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOSH HAMILTON SCORED JULIO BORBON
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J HAMILTON ON FIRST, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1
    TEXAS 1 BOTTOM,3RD
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: V GUERRERO (.299, 0-FOR-1)

    Athletics 1, Rangers 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsAug 29 3:56 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY DARIC BARTON SCORED RAJAI DAVIS
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C CRISP ON FIRST, C PENNINGTON ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1
    TEXAS 0 TOP,3RD
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: K SUZUKI (.247, 0-FOR-1)

    Athletics 1, Rangers 0  Top 3, 0 OutsAug 29 3:44 PM