for this game

Murray, Murphy guide Rangers past Athletics

May 4, 2008 - 4:57 AM By Ryan Leong PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

OAKLAND, California (Ticker) - A.J. Murray pitched effectively into the sixth inning in his season debut and rookie David Murphy hit a three-run home run in the first as the Texas Rangers held on for a 6-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Saturday.

Chris Shelton also homered and Michael Young and Josh Hamilton each drove in a run for the Rangers, who have won four consecutive games.

Texas manager Ron Washington has been on the hot seat since team president Nolan Ryan said last week that he wanted to see how his players responded to a 7-16 start before deciding the fate of his manager.

Washington's club has responded well, winning six of its last eight games to improve to 13-18.

"It just shows that we've got people here that can play," Washington said. "There will be times when you can't play with your main guys and they have to step up and do what they can do, but it all still comes down to how well we pitch and how well we play defense.

"I think our offense is what it is. And as long as we keep getting good pitching and we keep playing defense, we're going to be in a lot of ballgames. And when you're in a lot of ballgames, you've got opportunities to pull some of them out."

Mike Sweeney belted a two-run double and Chad Gaudin (3-2) struggled through six innings for the Athletics, who have lost three straight games to their American League West rivals dating back to last season.

Recalled from Class AAA Oklahoma on Friday when Jason Jennings was sent to the disabled list, Murray (1-0) allowed three runs and six hits with two walks and two strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings.

"That's a great place to be to work on stuff, work on certain pitches," Murray said of pitching in Oklahoma. "Since spring training, I've been working on that two-seamer. I had never thrown one. I was really pounding the zone and getting groundballs with it."

Ramon Vazquez led off the game with a single to left center, and after Milton Bradley walked, it set the stage for Murphy, who blasted Gaudin's 1-2 pitch over the wall in right center to give Texas an early 3-0 lead.

"I think when you look at the way we've been playing and the way that we've been winning, it's easy to feel good about yourself," Murphy said. "Pitching has been awesome, we've gotten timely hitting and there's still some things we can improve on defensively, but the bottom line is we've been getting it done - and it's been huge too because they've been close ball games. We haven't folded under pressure or anything like that."

The Rangers added to their lead in the fifth when Michael Young had an RBI double to right field. He later scored on Hamilton's single to right to give Texas a 5-0 advantage.

Oakland finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth after Kurt Suzuki singled and Mark Ellis walked. Sweeney then drove in both runners with an opposite-field double to right center.

The Athletics scored another run in the sixth after Brandon Boggs' two-base error led to Bobby Crosby's run-scoring base hit.

Murray was replaced by Frank Francisco, who ended the frame by striking out Jack Hannahan and was helped when Crosby was thrown out trying to steal second.

Francisco pitched a scoreless seventh inning and Jamey Wright did the same in the eighth before Joaquin Benoit tossed a perfect ninth for his first save of the season.

Gaudin allowed five runs and eight hits with two walks and three strikeouts, ending his three-game winning streak.

"They hit the ball and I made some good pitches and I made some bad pitches," Gaudin said. "And the ones I made bad, they made me pay for. It happens in baseball and I'll go out there and get them next time. You win some, you lose some, just keep playing ball like we have been and we'll win some games."

Oakland has dropped four of its last five games.

"It was a tough night swinging the bat," Athletics manager Bob Geren said. "When we got behind, to get runs was a positive and it gave us a chance but their bullpen held the lead."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TEXAS 3 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 6 9 1
    OAKLAND 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 3 6 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TEX - A.J. MURRAY, FRANK FRANCISCO (6TH), JAMEY WRIGHT (8TH),
    JOAQUIN BENOIT (9TH) AND JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA
    OAK - CHAD GAUDIN, JOEY DEVINE (7TH), SANTIAGO CASILLA

    May 3 11:41 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CHRIS SHELTON (1) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 2
    OUT IN THE 9TH OFF ANDREW BROWN.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 6, OAKLAND 3
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: G DURAN (.227, 1-FOR-3)

    Rangers 6, Athletics 3  Top 9, 0 OutsMay 3 11:31 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BOBBY CROSBY SCORED EMIL BROWN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B CROSBY ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 5
    OAKLAND 3 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: D MURPHY (.206, 0-FOR-2)

    Rangers 5, Athletics 3  Bot 6, 0 OutsMay 3 10:49 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MIKE SWEENEY SCORED KURT SUZUKI AND MARK ELLIS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M SWEENEY ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 5
    OAKLAND 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: F THOMAS (.196, 0-FOR-2)

    Rangers 5, Athletics 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsMay 3 10:35 PM
  • 46
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 41 roots

    Rangers 5, Athletics 0  Bot 5, 0 OutsMay 3 10:26 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOSH HAMILTON SCORED MICHAEL YOUNG.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J HAMILTON ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 5
    OAKLAND 0 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: M BRADLEY (.341, 1-FOR-1, BB)

    Rangers 5, Athletics 0  Top 5, 0 OutsMay 3 10:22 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MICHAEL YOUNG SCORED GERMAN DURAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M YOUNG ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 4
    OAKLAND 0 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: J HAMILTON (.306, 0-FOR-2)

    Rangers 4, Athletics 0  Top 5, 0 OutsMay 3 10:21 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TEXAS 3 3 2 0
    OAKLAND 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: TEX - A.J. MURRAY
    OAK - CHAD GAUDIN

    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: K SUZUKI (.288, 0 HR, 10 RBI)
    M ELLIS (.248, 2 HR, 11 RBI)
    M SWEENEY (.300, 2 HR, 8 RBI)

    Rangers 3, Athletics 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsMay 3 9:20 PM
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    Yankee82 Added 5 roots

    Rangers vs. AthleticsMay 3 2:23 PM