OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)Matt Olson matched his career high with four hits, including a two-run double as part of Oakland’s seven-run third inning, and the Athletics beat Texas 12-3 Saturday, handing the Rangers their 13th consecutive road loss.
Yan Gomes and Josh Harrison also homered. Oakland’s sputtering offense batted around in consecutive innings for the first time since 2016.
A’s newcomer Starling Marte added a pair of hits to continue his surge at the plate. Oakland has won seven of nine.
”It seems like for the better part of a couple months now we’ve been playing games that have been tight all the way to the finish,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. ”To have one of those games where you’re not grinding all the way to the last inning, to the last pitch . kind of nice.”
Cole Irvin (8-10) pitched four-hit ball over seven innings.
Adolis Garcia homered and drove in three runs for Texas, which has lost five straight overall.
The Rangers used infielder Brock Holt to pitch the ninth. He lobbed the ball over the plate and allowed a one-out single to Matt Chapman, who was thrown out going for second.
”The situation stinks but it’s always fun for us to be able to go out and do that,” Holt said. ”The plan was to see how slow I could throw it and still be able to throw strikes. I don’t throw hard enough to put very much stress on my arm. For me it’s about throwing strikes and get us to tomorrow without using any more pitchers.”
After winning their previous two games in walk-off fashion, the A’s erupted against the Rangers.
Oakland’s first six batters reached in the third. The A’s hit four doubles in the inning – Elvis Andrus and Mark Canha each singled and walked during the burst.
Gomes hit a three-run drive off former A’s pitcher Jharel Cotton in the fourth when Oakland batted around again to make it 10-2.
The A’s have had one of the lowest batting averages all season and were hitting .232 as a team before getting a season-high 16 hits off six Rangers pitchers.
Marte singled in the first and had an RBI double in the third. He is batting .421 (32 for 76) since the All-Star break, tops in the majors.
Harrison hit a two-run homer off Demarcus Evans in the fifth.
Oakland began the day three games behind Houston in the AL West.
”There’s still two months to go. While we may be somewhere within the top two spots of the wild card, the division is not out of hand for us,” said Harrison, another of the A’s trade deadline acquisitions. ”We’re in a good spot and we control our fate.”
Irvin struck out four, walked two and allowed one hit over his final six innings. All eight of his wins have come when the A’s score three or more.
”That first inning, that was pretty bad. I was up in the zone, the changeup was hanging,” Irvin said. ”I had to continue to think we were in a 1-0 ballgame and put up zeroes.”
Garcia hit a two-run homer run off Irvin in the first.
Drew Anderson (0-1) gave up four runs in two innings.
Marte has been stellar defensively for Oakland since being acquired from the Miami Marlins and proved it again. The A’s center fielder chased down Andy Ibanez’s deep fly in the first and caught the ball as he jumped and slammed into the wall in left-center.
GREAT CATCH BY FAN
A man sitting in a luxury suite box wearing a Seattle Mariners jersey leaned out of an open window and made a bare-handed catch on Garcia’s home run. The fan raised both arms in the air while holding the ball as the crowd around him cheered.
Athletics: RHP James Kaprielian (right shoulder) will come off the Injured List to start Sunday’s series finale against Texas. Kaprielian has been out since July 28.
Rangers RHP Jordan Lyles (5-8, 5.25) goes for his 50th career victory on Sunday. Lyles is unbeaten in six career appearances against Oakland. Kaprielian (5-4, 3.24) has lost three of his last four decisions.
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