Thursday, September 27, 2012
Texas Rangers 9, Oakland A’s 7
Rangers split series to maintain four-game advantage over Oakland.
ARLINGTON The Texas Rangers managed to get a series split Thursday, defeating the Oakland A's 9-7 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The win improved Texas to 92-64, four games ahead of the 88-68 A's for first place in the AL West with six games to play. The teams meet again in Oakland for the final three games of the season.
Rangers starter Matt Harrison was just good enough, allowing four runs on seven hits over six innings. Harrison, who walked one while striking out two, improved to 18-10 on the season.
A's starter Travis Blackley was not so lucky, giving up five runs in just one inning of work, falling to 5-4 on the year.
Texas opened the scoring with a huge first inning that set the tone for the rest of the game. Ian Kinsler started it with a leadoff home run, his majors-best seventh leadoff home run of the year and 19th overall. Blackley then got two quick outs before allowing singles to Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch, then scored on Michael Young's two-run single to make it 3-0 Texas. Finally, Mike Napoli belted a home run to deep right field that scored Young and made it 5-0 Rangers.
The two teams traded runs in the following innings, with Josh Reddick's solo home run in the top of the second matched by Josh Hamilton's RBI double in the bottom frame, then Jonny Gomes' RBI double in the third was met with Napoli singling in Cruz in the next inning.
In the fourth the pattern continued when Derek Norris' two-run home run was matched by Elvis Andrus singling in Kinsler, then scoring on Nelson Cruz' sacrifice fly to make it 9-4. The game remained that way until the top of the eighth, when the A's hit three solo home runs in garbage time to make the final score seem closer than it was.
Texas next plays its final three home games of the season, against the 86-70 Los Angeles Angels. The series starts Friday night and is followed with a three-game road series in Oakland to close out the regular season.