Rangers Beat A’s

via MLB.com

ARLINGTON — This time the Rangers didn’t wait until the end to mount their dramatic rally. They just waited until A’s starter Sonny Gray was out of the game.

Gray exited after six innings with a two-run lead, and the Rangers rallied for four runs in the seventh inning for a 6-5 victory over the Athletics at Globe Life Park on Saturday. The Rangers now have a five-game winning streak, including two straight over Oakland.

Elvis Andrus’ two-run single tied the game at 4, and Nomar Mazara followed with a two-run double that put Texas ahead for good. The Rangers were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position before the duo’s run-scoring hits.

This marks the first time the Athletics have lost at Globe Life Park with Gray on the mound. He was 6-0 with a 1.45 ERA in his first six career starts in Arlington. In his seventh start, the right-hander held the Rangers to two runs on five hits and two walks, striking out three on a season-high 106 pitches.

“He was good. He just ran out of pitches,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “That’s what we expect out of him. That’s what he expects out of himself. He left in a tight game, a low-scoring game, and we had a lead.”

Rangers starter Nick Martinez allowed three runs in six innings — qualifying for a quality start — but was gone before the seventh-inning rally and didn’t get the win. He has now gone 11 straight starts without a win going back to Aug. 5, 2015, against the Astros.

“I felt good out there,” Martinez said. “Most of the credit goes to [catcher Robinson Chirinos] and his game plan. He kept me on track. … Attacking guys and sticking to the scouting report and communicating during the game, making sure we don’t get off track of what we want to do.”

 Matt Joyce gave the Athletics a 3-2 lead with a two-run single in the fifth on a shot down the right-field line, but he took too big of a turn around first base and was thrown out trying to get back to the bag. Mazara had thrown the ball toward second from right field, but second baseman Rougned Odor cut it off and threw to Martinez covering first to get Joyce.

“I’ve played in the field [as an infielder]. I am aware of where guys are,” Martinez said. “I saw [first baseman Mike Napoli] dive for the ball, and I saw Joyce take an aggressive turn. I knew if we had a good throw, we could get him.”

After the Rangers loaded the bases with one out against right-handed reliever Ryan Dull, Melvin decided to bring in righty Liam Hendriks to pitch to Andrus, who was 1-for-3 lifetime against Dull and 0-for-12 against Hendriks. Andrus stroked a ground ball through the left side of the infield on a 2-2 pitch from Hendriks, driving in two runs and tying the game.

“Liam’s a guy who’s had a lot of success [against] Andrus,” Melvin said. “I didn’t want to get there to that situation, and usually with Ryan, we don’t, but we had to.”

In the fifth inning, down 2-1, the A’s had runners on second and third with one out when Joyce ripped a hard grounder down the right-field line, scoring both runners. The ball headed straight for the ball girl and the security guard sitting next to her. The ball bounced off one of their stools and shot directly to Mazara in right field. Mazara threw it quickly to Odor, who relayed it to Martinez covering first to get Joyce, who had taken a big turn rounding the bag.

Joyce wasn’t pleased at the situation and briefly pled his case to the umpire. After the game, he thought there were some shenanigans going on down the line.

“For me it was at least a double, possibly a triple, down in the corner like that,” Joyce said. “I don’t know, I just didn’t know the rule and obviously came off the base a little too far. The ball kicked right to Mazara. Just a really weird play. I’m not a fan of that rule right there, I don’t agree with that whatsoever. I’m not the type that’s going to point the finger at anybody, but for a home-team security or the guy that’s on the chair down there, if he can get up and leave the chair and maybe it’ll kick and [that’s] exactly what happened. When their guy hits it down there, obviously he’s going to pick it up. Who knows if that’s what the plan was, but that’s the way it happened. We had a great rally going there. Just weird.”

Alonso hit his 12th home run of the season on Saturday off Rangers reliever Keone Kela. From 2015-16 combined, Alonso had 12 home runs.

 A.J. Griffin is set to start for the Rangers on the Mother’s Day matinee at 2:05 p.m. CT. Griffin has won four straight starts, a streak that began with six scoreless innings in a 7-0 victory over the Athletics on April 17.

Share and Enjoy !