Friday, June 29, 2012
Texas Rangers 7, Oakland A’s 6
Rangers hold on in the ninth in protracted win.
ARLINGTON The Texas Rangers survived a last-inning scare Thursday night at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, defeating the Oakland A's 7-6 in a game that lasted nearly four hours. The win, their 11th in their last 13 games, improved Texas to 48-29, still the best record in the majors and still just four and a half games ahead of the LA Angels for first place in the AL West. Oakland fell to 37-40.
Up by one run in the top of the ninth, closer Joe Nathan made things interesting by issuing a one-out walk to Josh Reddick, then gifted him second with a wild pitch. After Yoenis Cespedes followed with a single to put runners at the corners with one out, Nathan was able to pitch himself out of his self-inflicted jam by striking out Seth Smith, then getting Brandon Inge on an infield groundout to end the game. It was Nathan's 18th save of the season.
Rangers starter Scott Feldman was just good enough to get credited with the win, allowing four runs on nine hits over five innings. Feldman, who walked one and struck out three, improved to 2-6 on the season and has now won his last two decisions.
A's starter Tyson Ross was not as fortunate, giving up five runs in four innings and falling to 2-8 on the year.
Oakland came out swinging early. Reddick opened the scoring in the top of the first with a solo home run, which Texas responded to in the bottom frame when Ian Kinsler scored on a Josh Hamilton groundout to tie it up. Oakland then poured three more runs on Feldman in the third, including a pair of solo home runs from bottom-of-the-order hitters Derek Norris and Cliff Pennington to go up 4-1.
Hamilton again responded in the bottom frame when he singled in Kinsler again to cut the A's lead in half, his majors-leading 69th RBI of the season. But it wasn't until the fifth inning that Texas finally got the runs it needed.
Leonys Martin started the rally with a leadoff walk, then stole second. Kinsler singled him to third, then stole second himself to put both runners in scoring position. Elvis Andrus followed with an RBI single to drive in Martin, chasing Ross from the game.
Reliever Jim Miller then walked Hamilton to load the bases, and then walked Adrian Beltre to drive in Kinsler for the tying run. Two outs later, David "Clutch" Murphy hit the go-ahead, two-run two-out RBI single that scored Andrus and Hamilton to make it 6-4 Texas. Martin struck out to end the inning.
Andrus scored the game-winning run in the next inning. He drew a one-out walk, then advanced to third on Pennington's throwing error. After yet another walk to Hamilton, Beltre drove in Andrus for the 7-4 lead with a sacrifice fly. Oakland scored two more run in the top of the seventh but could not get the tying run across the plate.
Kinsler had a monster day, going 4-for-5 with a double, two stolen bases, and three runs scored. The Rangers as a team amassed 14 hits, 12 of them singles, and six walks.