Cruz helps Rangers edge AthleticsJun 18, 2013 - 6:17 AM Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - Nelson Cruz belted a pair of homers, including the go-ahead two-run blast in the fifth inning, and Texas broke a six-game skid with an 8-7 win over the Oakland Athletics.
The A's scored six times in the fourth inning off Rangers starter Nick Tepesch, but failed to hold on in the opener of this four-game series.
The Rangers, who trimmed Oakland's lead to two games in the AL West, received a homer and three RBI from A.J. Pierzynski. Texas also broke a six-game losing streak at home.
Joe Nathan gave up a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to Coco Crisp in the ninth inning, but retired Derek Norris on a pop-up to third baseman Adrian Beltre. Nathan secured his 21st save of the year.
Tepesch gave up six hits and as many runs over 3 2/3 frames. Neal Cotts (3-1) threw 2 1/3 hitless frames to get the win.
"They settled it down and gave us a chance to keep grinding, which we did," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of his team's bullpen.
Dan Straily surrendered eight hits and six runs over 4 2/3 innings.
"He left a few more pitches up than he usually does," A's shortstop Jed Lowrie said of Straily. "They took advantage of it."
Jesse Chavez (1-1) was saddled with the loss.
The Rangers were outscored 34-8 during their losing streak, but after falling behind in the top of the fourth, their bats came alive. Cruz homered to left- center field in the bottom half to get the Rangers within 6-4.
Ian Kinsler singled in the fifth and later scored on Pierzynski's double over the glove of Josh Reddick in right field. Cruz then homered to center an on 0-2 pitch from Chavez.
Cruz doubled over the third base bag to bring in Beltre in the seventh inning, but the A's nearly tied the game in the ninth. They loaded the bases thanks to a double from Seth Smith, walk to Lowrie and single from pinch-hitter Chris Young when the ball dropped in front of Leonys Martin's glove in center field. After Crisp's fly ball to left, Norris popped up the first pitch he saw.
Pierzynski homered off the pole in right field to give Texas a 2-0 lead in the second, and Kinsler singled in Martin in the third.
The A's sent 10 men to the plate in the fourth, though, highlighted by Smith's two-run single and an RBI double from Jed Lowrie. The inning was a frustrating one for the Rangers, considering Beltre had a ball deflect off his body and to shortstop. Elvis Andrus threw back to third to get John Jaso, but Beltre missed the tag to set up a first-and-third situation. The avalanche of runs began with Brandon Moss' RBI single and also saw Eric Sogard and Crisp drive in runs.
The Rangers kept struggling designated hitter Lance Berkman out of the lineup for a second straight game. He's batting .192 in his last 21 contests to drop from .309 to .266, his lowest average this season ... Texas' six-game skid was its longest since April 15-21, 2010, also a six-game slide ... Jaso has reached base safely in a career-high 16 consecutive games.
- OAKLAND: 7
Jun 17 11:13 PM
- Coco Crisp sacrifice fly out to left scored Seth Smith. Runners on first and second and with two outs and Derek Norris due up.
Athletics 7, Rangers 8 Top 9, 2 OutsJun 17 11:11 PM
- Nelson Cruz doubled to left scoring Adrian Beltre. On the play, A.J. Pierzynski advances to third. Runners on second and third with one out and David Murphy due up.
Athletics 6, Rangers 8 Bot 7, 1 OutJun 17 10:36 PM
- Nelson Cruz two-out, two-run Home Run 2 (18) to center scoring A.J. Pierzynski. David Murphy due up.
Athletics 6, Rangers 7 Bot 5, 2 OutsJun 17 9:55 PM
- A.J. Pierzynski doubled to right scoring Ian Kinsler. Runner on second with two outs and Nelson Cruz due up.
Athletics 6, Rangers 5 Bot 5, 2 OutsJun 17 9:51 PM
- Nelson Cruz one-out, solo Home Run (17) to left center. David Murphy due up.
Athletics 6, Rangers 4 Bot 4, 1 OutJun 17 9:25 PM
- Coco Crisp singled to right scoring Jed Lowrie. Runner on first with two outs and John Jaso due up.
Athletics 6, Rangers 3 Top 4, 2 OutsJun 17 9:16 PM
- Eric Sogard sacrifice fly out to right scored Seth Smith. On the play, Jed Lowrie advances to third. Runner on third with two outs and Coco Crisp due up.
Athletics 5, Rangers 3 Top 4, 2 OutsJun 17 9:14 PM
- Jed Lowrie doubled to right scoring Josh Donaldson. On the play, Seth Smith advances to third. Runners on second and third with none out and Josh Reddick due up.
Athletics 4, Rangers 3 Top 4, 0 OutsJun 17 9:09 PM
- Seth Smith singled to right scoring Yoenis Cespedes and Brandon Moss. On the play, Josh Donaldson advances to second. Runners on first and second with none out and Jed Lowrie due up.
Athletics 3, Rangers 3 Top 4, 0 OutsJun 17 9:06 PM
- Brandon Moss singled to right scoring John Jaso. On the play, Yoenis Cespedes advances to second. Runners on first and second with none out and Josh Donaldson due up.
Athletics 1, Rangers 3 Top 4, 0 OutsJun 17 9:04 PM
- Ian Kinsler singled to left scored Leonys Martin. Runner on first with two outs and Adrian Beltre due up.
Athletics 0, Rangers 3 Bot 3, 2 OutsJun 17 8:54 PM
- A.J. Pierzynski none-out, two-run Home Run (6) to right scored Adrian Beltre. Nelson Cruz due up.
Athletics 0, Rangers 2 Bot 2, 0 OutsJun 17 8:28 PM
- OAKLAND: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Jun 17 8:08 PM
- Josh Hamilton will miss all season with another knee surgery May 23
- Angels-Rangers Preview May 23
- Rangers put OF Choo back on DL after only 1 game in return May 23
- Athletics-Mariners Preview May 23
- LEADING OFF: Kershaw tests streak vs Reds, Colon faces Nats May 23
- Ejections aplenty for Blue Jays lately May 23
- Baseball Capsules May 22
- Darvish seems ready for return to Rangers after strong rehab May 22
- Bad day gets worse for Athletics in 5-4 loss to Yankees May 22
- Pineda ends slump; Yanks top Oakland 5-4 to win 5th straight May 22
- Odor to have appeal hearing for 8-game suspension Tuesday May 22
- Hamels fans 11, Rangers down Keuchel, Astros 9-2 for sweep May 22