Bullpen guides A's to sweep of Texas Rangers
The Oakland Athletics scored two runs on Nick Martini's infield single in a five-run fourth inning Sunday afternoon, creating a lead they turned into a 7-3 victory over the Texas Rangers and a sweep of their three-game series in Oakland, Calif.
The Oakland bullpen shut out the Rangers on two hits over the final 6 1/3 innings, helping the A's (87-57) rally from a 3-0 deficit to a win that temporarily cut their deficit in the American League West to three games behind the Houston Astros.
The Astros played at Boston in a late game Sunday.
The Rangers (61-82) took advantage of Trevor Cahill's wildness to score once in the first inning and twice in the third before the A's got a break when Texas reliever Ariel Jurado (2-5) walked Stephen Piscotty to open the Oakland fourth.
Jurado had replaced left-hander Jeffrey Springs, who limited the A's to one hit and no runs in the first three innings.
Matt Olson's one-out double and Franklin Barreto's two-out single got the A's on the board in the fourth, after which Matt Joyce walked to load the bases.
A wild pitch made it 3-2 before Martini beat out a grounder to second base, scoring Barreto, with Joyce racing home from second with the tiebreaking run when second baseman Rougned Odor threw the ball away.
Ramon Laureano followed with an RBI double, completing the five-run inning and making it 5-3.
Marcus Semien drove in a run in the fifth inning with a fielder's choice, and Piscotty belted his 23rd home run of the season, a solo shot, in the seventh, opening up a 7-3 advantage.
The home run was the Athletics' 199th of the season.
Seven A's relievers combined to bail out Cahill, with Shawn Kelley (2-0) getting credit with the win after retiring all four batters he faced in the third and fourth innings.
Texas made it 3-0 in the third when two inning-opening walks set the stage for an RBI single by Odor and Adrian Beltre.
Cahill was pulled after walking six in 2 2/3 innings. He was charged with three runs on two hits. He struck out one.
The A's out-hit the Rangers 9-4.