OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)Jed Lowrie hit a two-out RBI single off Brett Martin in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting the Oakland Athletics past the mistake-prone Texas Rangers 6-5 on Sunday.
After closer Dany Jimenez blew a save opportunity in the top of the ninth, the A’s came back and won in their final at-bat for the second time this season. They did it despite stranding 11 runners in scoring position – seven in the first four innings – and having a runner thrown out at the plate.
”We didn’t cash in on a lot of opportunities but when it counted we did,” Lowrie said. ”At the end of the day, that’s all that matters. Something to work on but we got the win.”
Cristian Pache hit a leadoff single off of Martin (0-4), then Tony Kemp popped out and Ramon Laureano grounded out to move Pache to second. Lowrie, who struck out in his first two at-bats and was 1 for 5, lined a 2-2 pitch into left-center and Charlie Culberson’s throw home sailed over the head of catcher Jonah Heim.
”(Martin) is a guy that’s got a good fastball, good overhand curveball, one of those guys if you’re trying to guess one way or the other he can make you look kind of silly up there,” Lowrie said. ”I try to just even tighten the focus a little bit more in those situations and look for a pitch that I can handle.”
Kemp, Pache, Seth Brown and Elvis Andrus had two hits apiece for Oakland.
”Getting down early, they showed their grind and their fight,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said. ”Leaving guys on base early, they just kept going. We want that to be our identity. We want teams to know, whether we win or lose, when they leave this place, that this team has fight and grit.”
Corey Seager homered for the second consecutive day for the Rangers, who matched their season-high of five errors. Brad Miller also connected and had an RBI single before leaving the game with right hip tightness.
The Rangers blew a 4-0 lead and missed an opportunity to reach .500 for the first time this season.
Jimenez (2-2) skipped a two-out pitch between the legs of catcher Sean Murphy, allowing Marcus Semien to score the tying run in the ninth.
Rangers starter Dane Dunning had five strikeouts and three walks in 4 1/3 innings. He allowed seven hits and three runs (two earned).
Oakland’s James Kaprielian allowed four runs and six hits in 4 1/3 innings.
SANTANA SQUASHES SQUEEZE
Rangers reliever Dennis Santana made a heads-up defensive play to prevent the A’s from pulling off a squeeze play in the fifth. With runners on second and third, Kevin Smith laid down a soft bunt between third base and the pitching mound. Santana immediately broke for the ball, grabbed it and tagged out Luis Barrera trying to score.
A’s right fielder Ramon Laureano nearly hit his head on the roofing hanging over the visitor’s bullpen bench while chasing a foul ball, then quickly sat down and smiled as he looked toward some of the Rangers relievers.
THEY COME AND THEY GO
The A’s continued to shuffle their roster with a flurry of moves before the game, calling up right-handers Domingo Tapia and Parker Markel and lefty Sam Selman from Triple-A Las Vegas. Oakland optioned left-handers Adam Kolarek and Zach Logue to Las Vegas along with right-hander Jake Lemoine.
Rangers: First base coach Corey Ragsdale handled the third base duties while Tony Beasley receives treatment for a tight right Achilles tendon. Catching coach Bobby Wilson worked as the first base coach.
Athletics: Pitcher Daulton Jefferies, who is being treated for thoracic outlet syndrome, and outfielder Skye Bolt (strained left hamstring) were transferred to the 60-day injured list.
Rangers: RHP Glenn Otto (2-2, 4.91 ERA) faces the Rays in Texas on Monday. Otto has allowed three earned runs over his previous 11 innings.
Athletics: RHP Paul Blackburn (5-0, 1.70) takes the AL’s fourth-best ERA into Monday’s game against the Astros at the Coliseum. Blackburn is the first A’s starting pitcher on an opening day roster to win his first five decisions since Trevor Cahill opened 6-0 in 2011.
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