Friday, June 29, 2012
Texas Rangers 4, Oakland A’s 3
Rangers score four runs late to pull out last-minute win.
ARLINGTON The Texas Rangers took it down to the wire Friday night at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, defeating the Oakland A's 4-3 for their fourth straight victory. The win improved Texas to 49-29, the best record in the majors and five and a half games ahead of the LA Angels for first place in the AL West. Oakland fell to 37-41.
Down 2-0 heading into the bottom of the eighth, Texas finally broke the shutout when Elvis Andrus singled, stole second with one out. Josh Hamilton and Michael Young walked to load the bases, then Nelson Cruz drew a bases-loaded walk that scored Andrus and made it 2-1 Oakland. With two outs and the bases still loaded, pinch-hitter Craig Gentry hit a three-run bases-clearing triple to deep left field for the game-winning hit. Oakland's Chris Carter hit a two-out solo home run in the top of the ninth off rookie Tanner Scheppers, but Scheppers got the final out to record his first career save.
Rangers starter Matt Harrison was again excellent, allowing just two runs on eight hits over eight innings. Harrison, who walked just one while striking out seven, improved to 11-3 on the year and has now won his last seven decisions.
A's starter A.J. Griffin was even more impressive in just his second career start, giving up just two singles and a pair of walks over six shutout innings. Grant Balfour allowed all four runs in the eighth and was credited with the loss.