OAKLAND – The A’s crammed all of their scoring into one action-packed inning, and it was enough to snap their four-game losing streak Tuesday.
Held silent through five innings by Yu Darvish, the A’s broke through with a four-run sixth. They combined that with excellent pitching to turn back the Texas Rangers 4-2 in the middle contest of a three-game series at the Coliseum.
Adam Rosales keyed the game-winning rally with a two-run homer off Darvish that erased a 2-0 deficit. He turned on a 3-1 pitch and deposited his first homer well over the left field wall to make it 2-2. Having been shut out on three hits the night before, Rosales’ blast generated the offensive momentum they’d been lacking.
Jaff Decker, drawing a start as the leadoff man, doubled to left-center. Yonder Alonso walked, and after Tony Barnette relieved Darvish (1-2), Jed Lowrie drew another walk to load the bases. Khris Davis delivered a sacrifice fly to center to put the A’s ahead. Then Ryon Healy, pinch-hitting for Stephen Vogt, dropped a bloop single to score Alonso for a 4-2 lead.
That made a winner of Andrew Triggs (3-0), who has been the A’s best starter out of the gate. He threw six innings of three-hit ball and handed things over to a bullpen that got the job done in efficient order. Santiago Casilla nailed down his second save, as the A’s will now try to capture this series in the finale Wednesday afternoon.
Starting pitching report:
Triggs is justifying the A’s faith in him as a starter in the first month. He gave up just three hits over six innings, getting the Rangers to chase his breaking stuff out of the zone and keeping the ball off the barrel of the bat. He struck out five and didn’t issue a walk. The stat that says it all: Triggs has yet to allow an earned run in 17 2/3 innings pitched. That’s the longest season-opening streak by an A’s starter in Oakland history.
Two unearned runs off him in the sixth gave Texas the lead. The rally started with Yonder Alonso’s fielding error. A wild pitch from Triggs moved Jurickson Profar to second, and Elvis Andrus’ line single to center scored Profar him with the game’s first run. Andrus’ then used his legs to create the second run, stealing second and third and scoring on Nomar Mazara’s fielder’s choice grounder to short. Andrus broke for home and slid in ahead of Rosales’ throw.
All went according to plan. Sean Doolittle came on for the seventh to relieve Triggs and threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Ryan Dull got the final two outs of the eighth and Santiago Casilla delivered a 1-2-3 ninth. Casilla appears to have emerged as Bob Melvin’s preferred closer, though Doolittle will be an option too depending on matchups.
At the plate:
The A’s have scored in just one out of 18 innings so far in this series, but they rallied at the right time Tuesday night. Decker scored a run after his double in the sixth. He finished 1-for-4, and that may earn him another shot in the leadoff spot Wednesday. After two games off, Healy will return to the lineup Wednesday.
In the field:
Alonso made two excellent plays at first base in the early innings, but a miscue in the sixth opened the gates to a Texas rally. He mishandled Profar’s chopper for an error, and Profar eventually scored on Andrus’ line single to center. That makes 11 consecutive games with an error for the A’s, and a major league-leading 17**** for the season.
The announced turnout was 12,091.
The A’s and Rangers wrap up this three-game series with Wednesday’s 12:35 matinee. Jesse Hahn (0-1, 3.75) and lefty Martin Perez (1-1, 2.20) take the ball.