Texas Watch: Rangers win, remain three games ahead

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Texas Watch: Rangers win, remain three games ahead

CLEVELAND (AP) Jurickson Profar took his major league debut in stride. To the highly touted 19-year-old for the Texas Rangers, he was just playing another game of baseball with a new group of teammates.Profar hit a home run in his first at-bat and doubled the next time up Sunday as Texas thumped the Cleveland Indians 8-3."I guess it's a pretty big thing," a smiling Profar said, his hair and neck covered in shaving cream from a celebratory "pie" administered by teammate Elvis Andrus."I was just a little bit nervous, but I'm with a lot of great players, so I just went out and played," he said.Profar was a late substitute after second baseman Ian Kinsler was scratched with a stiff back. Profar opened the third inning with a drive over the right-field wall, connecting on a 2-1 pitch from Zach McAllister (5-6)."I was thinking, Go, go, go, go,' after I hit it," said Profar, who got the souvenir ball back.Profar doubled in his next at-bat, then was late to hit in the fifth. With Luis Martinez on first with a single, Profar wasn't even in the on-deck circle. Suddenly, he grabbed a bat, ran to the plate and flied out on the second pitch."Mother Nature called," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "He got a couple hits and maybe his stomach realized what was happening."Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre and David Murphy all hit solo home runs in the Texas fifth.Derek Holland (10-6) gave up two runs over seven innings as the AL West-leading Rangers took two of three in the series. Texas matched its best record through 133 games, having also gone 79-54 in 1999."Texas is probably the best team in baseball, period," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "The guy hitting ninth today (Profar) could be in the middle of the order for most teams. And how do you get the ball through the infield with the guys they have playing there? They should go very deep, if not back to the World Series, again this year."Cleveland dropped to 6-29 since July 27.Profar went 2 for 4 as the first player born in 1993 to play in the majors. He became the youngest major leaguer to hit a homer since current teammate Adrian Beltre did it in 1998 for the Los Angeles Dodgers, also at age 19."It was a special day for a special kid," Washington said. "This kid is blessed. He's got a bright future, but let's not put him in the Hall of Fame yet."He's already in the Rangers' record book as the first player to homer his first time up in a Texas uniform. The last player to do it in franchise history was Brant Alyea for the Washington Senators in 1965. The Senators moved to Texas in 1972.Profar is the third-youngest player in Rangers history behind pitchers David Clyde and Wilson Alvarez. He hit .281 with 14 homers and 62 RBIs at Double-A Frisco and homered in the Futures Game in July in Kansas City during All-Star week."This kid is not afraid," Washington said, who talked to Profar when Kinsler came up ailing."He asked me how many games I have played at second base," said Profar, who has played more at shortstop. "I told him and he said, OK, you're in the game, playing second.'"I was kind of shocked, but I was also ready for it."Andrus had three hits. He has hit in all 29 of his career games against Cleveland.After Profar's homer, the Rangers sent seven more batters to the plate in the third. Nelson Cruz had an RBI double and Murphy a two-run single to make it 4-0.Carlos Santana's two-run homer, his 14th, got Cleveland within 4-2 in the bottom half.Thomas Neal got his first hit, an RBI double in the eighth in his debut for Cleveland to make it 8-3.Hamilton lined the first pitch of the fifth into the seats in right for his 37th homer. Beltre followed with his 27th - and eighth in 11 games. It was the third time this year the duo homered in consecutive at-bats. One out later, Murphy hit his 13th."That's what we needed," Washington said. "We had to break out and show our authority. We did it the way we are capable.Holland won his third straight start. The left-hander also moved to 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA in five career starts against Cleveland.McAllister gave up 11 hits and seven runs over five innings, falling to 1-4 with a 6.08 ERA over his last seven starts. Cleveland's starting staff has a 6.55 ERA, worst in the majors in the second half - the biggest reason for the Indians' 12-37 record since the All-Star break.NOTES: Profar is the third teenager to homer in his first at-bat, joining the Giants' Whitey Lockman in 1945 and Reds' Ted Tappe in 1950, the Elias Sports Bureau said. ... Washington's 506th win tied Johnny Oates for second in Rangers history behind Bobby Valentine (581). ... Texas is 50-36 all-time at Progressive Field, the second-highest winning percentage (.581) of any team. The New York Yankees are at .633 and Cleveland is .553. ... Texas begins a four-game series Monday in Kansas City. RHP Yu Darvish (13-9) faces Royals LHP Bruce Chen (10-10).

A's blow five-run lead, watch Mets walk off with victory

A's blow five-run lead, watch Mets walk off with victory

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NEW YORK -- Wilmer Flores hit a solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, and the New York Mets rallied from an early five-run deficit to beat the Oakland Athletics 6-5 Saturday night for their fourth consecutive victory.

Pinch-hitter Lucas Duda delivered a tying single with two outs in the eighth off left-hander Daniel CoulombeJay Bruce hit a two-run homer in the sixth to begin New York's comeback, and Jose Reyes tripled twice.

Flores connected on a 96 mph fastball from Simon Castro (0-1), sending a line drive to left field for the second game-ending homer of his career. That sent a frenzied crowd of 39,629 home happy - hours after fans lined up early in the heat outside Citi Field to get their Noah Syndergaard as Thor bobbleheads.

Matt Joyce hit a leadoff home run and Matt Chapman added a prodigious shot for Oakland, which scored four in the first off struggling Mets starter Zack Wheeler.

Sean Manaea took a shutout into the sixth but then wilted after throwing a career-high 115 pitches Sunday in his previous start, a win against Cleveland.

Hansel Robles (6-1) tossed a hitless inning to win for the second straight day.

MAN ON THE MOVE:
With Mets second baseman Neil Walker nearing a return from the disabled list, perhaps Monday in San Diego, Asdrubal Cabrera made his first major league start at third and played flawless defense after working out at the position once. Cabrera's only previous appearance at the hot corner came during his rookie season in 2007 with Cleveland. "He's a middle infielder who's going to play third base. Got great hands, great arm. He'll be fine," manager Terry Collins said. Cabrera initially balked at shifting from shortstop to second when he came off the DL about a month ago.

TRAINER'S ROOM:
Athletics: Ryon Healy had a pinch-hit single after getting hit near the left temple by a bad-hop grounder Friday night. Healy went through the concussion protocol and was cleared, manager Bob Melvin said. ... Melvin said he would have news after the game regarding RHP Jharel Cotton, on the DL since July 4 with a blister on his right thumb. Cotton threw a bullpen Friday. Oakland needs a starter for Monday night at Toronto. ... INF-OF Chad Pinder (strained left hamstring) homered Friday on his rehab assignment with Triple-A Nashville and could come off the DL when Oakland begins a homestand next weekend. "That's kind of the target area," Melvin said.

Mets: Walker (left hamstring) went 1 for 3 with Triple-A Las Vegas at Memphis in the first game of rehab assignment. The switch-hitter has been on the DL since June 15. ... LHP Josh Smoker threw a scoreless sixth in his first outing since coming off the disabled list Thursday. Smoker had been sidelined since June 14 with a strained left shoulder.

UP NEXT:
Oakland rookie right-hander Daniel Gossett (1-5, 5.79 ERA) makes his eighth career start in Sunday's series finale against RHP Rafael Montero (1-6, 5.40). Gossett has given up 10 homers in 37 1/3 innings after yielding only four in 60 2/3 innings at Triple-A.

Healy exits early, Blackburn suffers first loss with A's

Healy exits early, Blackburn suffers first loss with A's

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NEW YORK — Michael Conforto hit a pair of two-run homers and Jerry Blevins rescued the Mets' bullpen with a five-out save as New York held off the Oakland Athletics 7-5 on Friday night for its third straight victory.

T.J. Rivera put the Mets ahead in the sixth inning with a two-run single that turned into a Little League home run. Rivera came all the way around to score on the play after third baseman Matt Chapman, trying to get Rivera at second, threw the ball away into right field for a costly error that made it 5-3.

Moments earlier, New York loaded the bases when Lucas Duda's bad-hop infield single struck first baseman Ryon Healy near the temple. Healy left the game and walked off under his own power with a swollen bruise next to his left eye.

Conforto's second homer made it 7-3 in the seventh. Oakland rallied for two in the eighth, but Blevins replaced closer Addison Reed with the bases loaded and got five straight outs against his former team for his fifth major league save and first this season.

Normally a lefty specialist, Blevins recorded five outs in a game for the first time since 2014 with Washington. He retired All-Star slugger Yonder Alonso on a foul popup and struck out Khris Davis to escape the eighth-inning jam.

"We just tried to find some matchups that worked," Mets manager Terry Collins said.

Yoenis Cespedes had three hits after raising eyebrows when he told the San Francisco Chronicle before the game that he wants to play the final season of his career in Oakland, his first big league team.

Cespedes, who signed a $110 million, four-year contract in the offseason to remain with the Mets, also said A's manager Bob Melvin is his favorite skipper and he doesn't think there's a better one.

"Bob's a great manager. I don't blame him," Collins said after the game. "This is the first I've heard of it."

After the game, Cespedes clarified his comments while speaking with reporters through a translator and said he meant no disrespect toward Collins or the Mets.