Athletics

A's hit three homers, but get swept after allowing four late runs

A's hit three homers, but get swept after allowing four late runs

BOX SCORE

ARLINGTON, Texas -- A sweeping comeback for the Texas Rangers, who suddenly have the longest winning streak in the major leagues.

Nomar Mazara had the tiebreaking RBI single, the second game in a row he had the go-ahead hit in the seventh inning, and the Rangers wrapped up a week filled with comebacks in a 6-4 win over Oakland on Sunday.

"We're seeing some results now," Mazara said after the three-game sweep of the Athletics that gave the Rangers six wins in a row.

"We believe everything is back on track," shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "We knew as a team we weren't playing the way we know how we know we can play."

Mazara's two-out single that made it 5-4 came right after Andrus' tying RBI double, both off reliever Ryan Madson (0-3).

Since coming home after an 11-0 win at San Diego last Tuesday, the Rangers have come from behind to win their last five games. That included game-ending three-run homers Thursday and Friday before Andrus and Mazara had consecutive two-RBI hits in the seventh inning Saturday night against the A's.

"Anytime you put wins together, there's a lot of momentum. There's a lot of feel-good," manager Jeff Banister said. "We knew that this offense would get going at some point."

Carlos Gomez had three hits, including a single to start the seventh, but left the game with a right hamstring strain after scoring from second base on Delino DeShields' two-out infield single that chased Oakland starter Kendall Graveman.

DeShields hit a slicing chopper that third baseman Trevor Plouffe fielded near the line with Gomez running in front of him. The speedy DeShields beat the throw to first, and Gomez kept running and scored when he lunged toward the plate while also avoiding a bat still on the ground.

"I was going full speed and I didn't want to try to slide because I thought I could get hurt and I accelerated again," said Gomez, who will have an MRI on Monday, an off day at home for the Rangers.

Dario Alvarez (2-0) got the final outs of the seventh for the Rangers. Sam Dyson pitched the eighth before Matt Bush worked the ninth for his fourth save in five chances.

Plouffe, Adam Rosales and Matt Joyce all homered for the A's, who have gone deep 16 times their last eight games.

Joyce hit a two-run homer in the fifth off Rangers starter A.J. Griffin for a 4-2 lead. That came after Rosales led off with a shot that just cleared the 14-foot wall in left field and Rajai Davis then doubled.

"It's frustrating that for roughly two-thirds of the game we had the upper hand on it and then we lose it," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We feel good about all our guys in our bullpen. Kendall pitched for us today, it just got away from us again at the end."

NOT ANOTHER NO-NO BID

The Rangers were held hitless by Graveman on April 8 until Mike Napoli's homer with two outs in the seventh inning. This time, DeShields, Andrus and Mazara had consecutive singles to start the first, when Texas quickly went ahead 2-0. "The good news for me is bounce back after the first," Graveman said. "I didn't lose my composure."

LESS SUPPORT

Rangers starter A.J. Griffin trailed 4-2 when he left the game in the sixth, after allowing all three homers. He was coming off a four-hit shutout in his hometown of San Diego in his last start, the first win in the Rangers streak. This was the first time in Griffin's six starts this season that he got fewer than five runs from the offense while pitching.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Athletics: Melvin said RHP Daniel Mengden, out all season recovering from right foot surgery, is getting the kinks out but has good velocity and feels good in his rehab assignment with Triple-A Nashville. ... RHP John Axford (strained right shoulder) is expected to get at least one more rehab appearance. He could rejoin the A's sometime soon after they get home Thursday.

Rangers: RF/DH Shin-Soo Choo had spasms in his lower back and was scratched from the lineup.

UP NEXT

Athletics: Sean Manaea (1-2) is set to come off the disabled list to start Monday night at Seattle.

Rangers: After a day off Monday, the Rangers open a three-game series at home Tuesday with Yu Darvish (3-2) facing the Philadelphia Phillies.

Bruce Maxwell: Kneeling for anthem not 'disrespecting my country or my flag'

Bruce Maxwell: Kneeling for anthem not 'disrespecting my country or my flag'

OAKLAND — Bruce Maxwell’s gesture to take a knee during the national anthem Saturday night at the Coliseum was no knee-jerk reaction by the A’s catcher.

It was something he’s considered for a long time, balancing his own personal convictions to make a statement with how it might affect his teammates and organization.

Think it was bold of Maxwell to become the first player in baseball to kneel during the anthem, in protest of racial discrimination and the inflammatory remarks of President Trump? It took just as much guts to stand before his teammates, manager Bob Melvin and GM David Forst and explain why he felt he needed to do it.

He did so in a pregame meeting Saturday that made for a degree of discomfort in the room, but also seemed to have played out in a healthy way.

“I didn’t want them to sugarcoat or aid me when it comes to the media and their personal feelings,” Maxwell said, “because the whole point of this is the ability to protest (based on) our personal beliefs and our personal choices.”

Many athletes have been critical of the President, with things intensifying across the sports landscape Saturday after Trump, among other things, withdrew an invitation for the Warriors to visit the White House and harshly criticized athletes who have knelt during the anthem, saying they should be booted off their teams.

After blasting Trump on both Instagram and Twitter, Maxwell took the field for the anthem and took the action that will define him in the eyes of the baseball world. Maxwell had been wanting to make a statement in some way. He said he and his sister dealt with racial discrimination growing up. Watching Trump’s rally play out in his hometown of Huntsville, Ala. on Friday further persuaded Maxwell to finally do so.

“This goes beyond the black community, it goes beyond the Hispanic community, because right now we’re having … a racial divide in all types of people,” said Maxwell, who is African American. “It’s being practiced from the highest power we have in this country and it’s basically saying it’s OK to treat people differently. And my kneeling, the way I did it, was to symbolize the fact that I’m kneeling for a cause. But I’m in no way or form disrespecting my country or my flag.”

A’s outfielder Mark Canha stood next to Maxwell during the anthem with his hand on Maxwell’s shoulder, a show of support. Canha said he’s considered kneeling before in protest himself but had chosen not to. As he listened to Maxwell address the team, Canha wasn’t going to let his teammate make his statement on his own.

“I could tell he was getting kind of choked up and emotional about his beliefs and how he feels about the racial discrimination that’s going on in this country right now,” Canha said. “I felt like every fiber of my being was telling me that he needed a brother today.”

Canha added that he sensed some “discomfort” in the room as Maxwell addressed the team. But he also said there was support.

“It was an open forum to ask him questions. It was as articulate as I’ve seen him,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “This wasn’t an emotional thing just today for him. … I think he handled it really well and everybody was comfortable after the session. I’m proud of him for the fact he went about it the way he did.”

Maxwell, who was born in Germany while his father served in the Army over there, said he will continue to kneel for the anthem. He doesn’t expect his teammates to do the same, only to stick to what they believe in.

“I have plenty of family members, including my father, who have bled for this country,” Maxwell said. “At the end of the day, this the best country on the planet. My hand over my heart symbolized that I am, and will forever be, an American citizen. But my kneeling is what’s getting the attention because I’m kneeling for the people that don't have a voice.”

MLB issues statement on A's Bruce Maxwell kneeling during national anthem

MLB issues statement on A's Bruce Maxwell kneeling during national anthem

A's catcher Bruce Maxwell made history Saturday night in Oakland. The 26-year-old became the first player in big-league history to kneel during the national anthem. 

Below is the official statement from Major League Baseball:

Major League Baseball has a longstanding tradition of honoring our nation prior to the start of our games. We also respect that each of our players is an individual with his own background, perspectives and opinions. We believe that our game will continue to bring our fans, their communities and our players together.

MLB media services contributed to this report