Rangers Flunk A’s, Remain Seven Games Back of Red Sox

Rangers Flunk A's, Remain Seven Games Back of Red Sox
OAKLAND, Calif. — Hank Blalock
homered and drove in four runs, leading the Texas Rangers to a 9-8
victory over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night.

David Murphy and Marlon Byrd each
added a pair of RBIs as the Rangers won for the third time in 10 games.
Nelson Cruz also drove in a run for Texas, which trails Boston by seven
games for the AL wild card and the Angels by 6 1/2 in the AL West.

Eric Patterson hit a home run and Cliff Pennington drove in two runs for the A’s, who lost for the third time in 11 games.

Tommy Hunter (9-4) won for the third
time in four decisions after giving up seven runs on nine hits over 5
2/3 innings. He struck out two and did not walk a batter.

Four Rangers’ relievers — Dustin
Nippert
, Darren O’Day, C.J. Wilson and Frank Francisco — held off the
A’s. Francisco pitched the ninth for his 24th save in 27 chances.

A’s starter Clayton Mortensen (2-3)
had his two-game winning streak stopped after giving up seven runs —
three earned — on six hits over 4 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck
out six.

Murphy and Blalock each drove in runs in the first to put the Rangers on top. Blalock’s two-run shot in the fourth made it 4-0.

With one out in the bottom of the
fourth, five consecutive A’s hit safely and all five scored.
Pennington’s two-run single was the big blow and gave the A’s a 5-4
edge. Ryan Sweeney and Mark Ellis each doubled in a run and Jack Cust
singled home a run.

The Rangers regained the lead in the
fifth as Byrd singled in two runs, Blalock added an RBI double and
Cruz singled home a run for an 8-5 lead.

After Patterson homered for the A’s in the fifth, Murphy’s two-out single in the sixth gave the Rangers a 9-6 advantage.

Daric Barton singled a home in the sixth and Rajai Davis doubled home another in the seventh to make it 9-8.

Notes
Davis singled in the fourth
to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. … The Rangers went 32
innings between home runs. … Murphy has 17 hits and 12 RBIs against
the A’s this year, his most against any team. … The Rangers stole
four bases and moved past the Angels into second in the AL with 143
steals.

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