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

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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.

Rosales, A's turn back the clock with walk-off victory over Tigers

Rosales, A's turn back the clock with walk-off victory over Tigers

OAKLAND — The A’s had posted a dozen victories coming into the night, but the joy they experienced Saturday seemed like a fresh feeling for everyone in the clubhouse.

They pulled out one of those ninth-inning comebacks against Detroit that brought to mind so many games at the Coliseum during the division-winning seasons of 2012 and 2013.

Adam Rosales still had whipped cream residue around his ears as he addressed reporters, not long after his two-run single scored the tying and winning runs as Oakland pulled out a 6-5 victory over the Tigers.

“It’s almost like a relief to get that win,” Rosales said with a big grin. “We have a chance to win the series now and get over a little hump. It just feels good to win together as a team because we all fought until the end in that ballgame.”

The euphoric postgame scene was familiar: Players spilling out of the dugout to celebrate, Rosales getting slammed with a whipped cream pie and a bucket of water during his TV interview.

But the characters involved were different. In years past, Josh Reddick or Coco Crisp would have been the ringleaders of all the postgame shenanigans. Both are gone — Reddick dealt at last summer’s non-waiver trade deadline, Crisp shipped off a month later.

Stephen Vogt, a hold-over from happier years, delivered the pie to Rosales. But it was Ryon Healy and Bruce Maxwell — two players who could be future building blocks — who dumped the bucket. Tradition needs to be passed down on such occasions.

“I think we were a couple of the (last) ones in the dugout at the time,” Maxwell said. “Healy was like, ‘Hey, come help me with this cooler’ and I was like, ‘Hell yeah, I’m down.’”

It was an unlikely combination near the bottom of the batting order that ignited the winning rally. The bases were empty and the A’s were down to their last strike against veteran closer Francisco Rodriguez when Maxwell — who entered as a defensive replacement after Stephen Vogt had been pinch-hit for — battled back from an 0-2 count to work a walk to keep his team alive.

“Just trying to pass the baton to the next batter,” Maxwell said.

Then Matt Joyce, who brought a .185 batting average into the game but had made hard contact twice before the ninth, doubled to the right field corner to put the tying and winning runs in scoring position.

Rosales, who had never faced Rodriguez and was next up, was feverishly pumping Vogt and Khris Davis for a scouting report on the reliever.

“I knew he was gonna give me a fastball, but I didn’t know it was gonna be the first pitch, a pitch I could handle,” Rosales said.

A veteran who’s only starting regularly because of shortstop Marcus Semien’s injury, Rosales smacked a first-pitch fastball into left for the game winner.

The A’s first walk-off win of the year gave reliever Frankie Montas, who hit 101 miles per hour on the stadium gun in the top of the ninth, his first major league victory. It also gave manager Bob Melvin a memorable win on the night he was honored with his own bobblehead as a fan giveaway.

“What a night,” Melvin said. “A lot of contributions, man. We used just about everybody we had tonight and I think it was big for Frankie Montas to go and put up a zero. Guys were telling him when he came in the dugout, ‘we’re gonna get you a win tonight.’ Everybody had a part in it.”

 

Instant Replay: Rosales delivers walk-off hit as A's stun Tigers

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USATSI

Instant Replay: Rosales delivers walk-off hit as A's stun Tigers

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND — Adam Rosales delivered a two-run game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth as the A’s beat the Detroit Tigers 6-5 and recorded their first walk-off victory of the season.

Bruce Maxwell was down to his final strike against Francisco Rodriguez when he worked a two-out walk. Matt Joyce followed with a double to the right field corner and then Rosales lined a single to left. Maxwell scored easily and Joyce dove in head first with the winning run ahead of the throw form Justin Upton.

The thrilling victory gave Oakland just its third win in the past 12 games and was a badly needed shot in the arm for a team that has largely struggled in all phases of the game lately.

The A’s put on a long-distance show with three homers, including the first two-homer night of Yonder Alonso’s career, but it seemed like it might not be enough. Jesse Hahn couldn’t make it out of the fourth inning, and the A’s trailed 5-2 by the fifth.

The Tigers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second and had an answer each time the A’s chipped away with a run in the early and middle innings. Oakland closed to within 5-4 on Alonso’s second homer, a two-run blast, setting the stage for the ninth-inning heroics.

As Rosales was interviewed after the game, Maxwell and Ryon Healy belted him with a pie and Gatorade shower.

Starting pitching report:
When Hahn labored through a 34-pitch first inning, it was a sign that he might not pitch deep into this one. The Tigers got to him for three runs in the second. Granted, the rally was jumpstarted by the first of Ryon Healy’s two errors in the inning, but Hahn gave up Andrew Romine’s two-run triple and an RBI single to Nicholas Castellanos. By the time Hahn was lifted with the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth, he had already heaved 101 pitches over just 3 2/3 innings, walking four and allowing four runs (three earned).

Hahn had been very solid in four previous starts since replacing Raul Alcantara in the rotation. But with Sean Manaea set to make a rehab appearance with Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday, and perhaps ready to return to the rotation shortly after that, Hahn could well find himself the odd man out on the five-man starting staff.

Bullpen report:
Daniel Coulombe relieved Hahn and promptly walked Alex Avila to force in a run and give Detroit a 4-1 lead. After the A’s shaved a run off their deficit, the lefty would surrender another run in the fifth on Castellanos’ two-out run-scoring double that left the A’s trailing 5-2. Liam Hendriks, Ryan Dull, Ryan Madson and Frankie Montas teamed up for 4 1/3 scoreless innings to keep the A’s within striking distance. Montas picked up his first career victory.

At the plate:
Before the season, any run production from Alonso would have been considered icing on the cake for Oakland. Who knew he would become such an indispensable hitter in the early going? Alonso entered the night ranked sixth in the American League in slugging percentage (.585) and the leader among AL first basemen in RBI (19). Then, batting cleanup for the second time in three games, Alonso proceeded to put on a show. His solo shot in the fourth looked like it was shot from a cannon as it went out to right-center. The A’s were down 5-2, and struggling to mount anything against Jordan Zimmerman, when he went deep again in the sixth. He belted a chest-high fastball for a two-run shot to right-center that pulled Oakland to within a run. Alonso is now just one homer shy of his career high of nine that he hit in 2012 with San Diego.

Ryon Healy connected for the A’s other homer.

In the field:
Healy made two fielding errors in the second but the A’s, for once, overcame their defensive struggles.

Attendance:
The announced crowd was 16,651.

Up next:
With Sean Manaea on the D.L., Sonny Gray (0-1, 6.00) gets pushed up to start Sunday, though he will still be on his regular four days’ rest thanks to a day off in the schedule earlier this week. He’ll be opposed by lefty Daniel Norris (2-2, 4.00) in the 1:05 p.m. game.