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.

Lowrie's big hit sparks A's, gets road trip started right

Lowrie's big hit sparks A's, gets road trip started right

NEW YORK — Jed Lowrie is the counterpoint to the A’s home run-crazed offensive attack.

Sure, the A’s switch-hitting second baseman can muscle up and clear the fence. But Lowrie’s approach is more about spraying base hits all around and using the whole field. He was at it again in Friday’s 4-1 A’s victory over the Yankees, going 3-for-4 and delivering an RBI single that snapped a scoreless tie in the eighth.

“I always have to carry his glove out to second for him because he’s always on base,” shortstop Adam Rosales said. “He looks really good at the plate right now, and he’s kind of just putting us on his back. It’s contagious to see a guy like that doing so well.”

Lowrie bumped his average up to .310 with Friday’s game. Until he grounded out in the sixth, he’d notched hits in seven consecutive at-bats dating back to Tuesday night. That streak fell one shy of the A’s record for most consecutive hits. Three players share the record at eight — Josh Reddick (in 2016), Dave Magadan (1997) and Brent Gates (1994).

“It’s all about the work,” said Lowrie, whose 15 doubles are tied for third in the AL. “Everything comes together when you’re seeing it well. I’m seeing it well but the approach hasn’t changed.”

With two runners aboard and two out in the eighth, Lowrie punched an RBI single to right off Tyler Clippard for the game’s first run. It was the breakthrough the A’s needed after they’d struck out 13 times in seven innings against Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka. Khris Davis followed Lowrie’s hit by beating out an infield single to score another run. Then Stephen Vogt added a two-run homer in top of the ninth to make it 4-0, and that provided some cushion as closer Santiago Casilla gave up a run and made things tenser than they should have been in the bottom half.

Davis, the most fearsome hitter in Oakland’s lineup, is thrilled to have a productive Lowrie batting in front of him as the No. 3 man.

“Somebody’s gotta hit .300,” Davis said. “All year he’s been our most consistent hitter and best hitter. I hope he keeps going.”

The A’s have won four in a row at Yankee Stadium dating back to last year. It’s their longest winning streak in the Bronx since a four-gamer at the old stadium in 2006. And it was a good way to begin a seven-game road trip for the A’s, who came in with the league’s worst road record at 6-15.

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Rosales had puffiness under his right eye and said he was anticipating a shiner after his hard head-first dive into third base didn’t go as planned in the eighth. He scraped up his face pretty good after going first to third on an errant pickoff throw and taking a hard dive into third, only to find the dirt wasn’t giving.

After addressing reporters, Rosales said he was on his way to find an ice pack.

Manaea's 'big mentality switch' keys success in first Yankee Stadium start

Manaea's 'big mentality switch' keys success in first Yankee Stadium start

NEW YORK — Dealt another dose of injury bad news Friday, the A’s got to temporarily push those thoughts aside once Sean Manaea took the mound.

The big lefty shined in his first career outing at Yankee Stadium, matching Masahiro Tanaka pitch for pitch and spinning his best start of the season in a 4-1 A’s victory.

After he walked leadoff man Brett Gardner on four pitches in the first, it conjured up memories of his five-walk outing two starts ago at Seattle. But from that point on Manaea locked in, allowing just four hits over seven innings and striking out eight. Not a single Yankee advanced past second base against him.

“He was out there chucking,” A’s left fielder Khris Davis said. “He’s got that Chris Sale stuff where people are swinging and missing in the zone. It’s great to see that.”

The day began with news that Opening Night starter Kendall Graveman and fellow starter Jesse Hahn both are likely headed to the disabled list with shoulder and triceps strains, respectively. It continues the cycle of injury woes for the A’s, who have lost every starter except Andrew Triggs to at least one stint on the 10-day DL. With two-fifths of the rotation down for an unknown period of time, Manaea takes on an even more significant role.

“For a young guy we’ve leaned on him pretty hard since he’s gotten here, but now probably a little bit more so,” manager Bob Melvin said.

Yet no matter what is unfolding elsewhere on the pitching staff, the challenge for Manaea always stems from within. He’s talked often this season about the need to be mentally tougher and more aggressive attacking the strike zone. After the leadoff walk to Gardner, Manaea (3-3) said a switch flipped inside of him.

“I was thinking that these guys weren’t gonna hit me at all, and that I just needed to throw strikes and trust the defense,” he said. “I know I can get these guys out. To me it was a big mentality switch, and just believing in myself and trusting everything.”

Tanaka, who has disappointed this season to the tune of a 6.56 ERA entering Friday, put it together against Oakland and rang up a career-high 13 strikeouts without a single walk. But Manaea was more than up to the task, keeping New York off the board until the A’s scored twice in the eighth to snap a scoreless tie off former Athletic Tyler Clippard, who relieved Tanaka to start that inning.

“He was pitching with a lot of confidence, and that’s what I love to see,” A’s catcher Stephen Vogt said of Manaea. “He wants the ball, wanted to keep going out there. It was awesome.”