Another comeback sends Rangers to fifth straight win
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers didn't wait as long for their latest four-run rally.
After walking off the previous two games with four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Rangers put a four-spot on the board in the seventh and beat the Oakland A's 6-5 on Saturday night at Globe Life Park.
Texas (18-20) has won a season-best five in a row, with the last three in comeback fashion at home. The Rangers shoot for a three-game series sweep on Sunday afternoon.
The A's (16-20) dropped their second straight and wasted a solid outing from Sonny Gray, who was looking for his first win. Making his third start since coming off the disabled list, Gray left after six innings with a 3-2 lead.
After allowing four earned runs in each of his first two starts, the right-hander cut that in half by giving up five hits and striking out three.
The bullpen proceeded to let Gray down.
Coming in with a 4-2 lead, Ryan Dull loaded the bases with one out in the seventh before making way for Liam Hendriks. Elvis Andrus greeted him with a two-run single to left to tie it 4-4. Nomar Mazara followed with a slicing liner over left fielder Khris Davis to put Texas up 6-4.
Texas had won the previous two games -- against Oakland and San Diego -- by identical 5-2 scores by scoring four times in the ninth, finishing off both with three-run homers.
While the two-run hits from Andrus and Mazara weren't as dramatic, they helped the Rangers pull within two games of .500 for the first time since being 11-13 on May 29.
Texas starter Nick Martinez, also looking for his first win, avoided his third loss. The right-hander did make a quality start by going six innings and allowing three earned runs and seven hits.
The Rangers' bullpen gave up two runs in the final three innings, including Yonder Alonso's solo blast off Keone Kela in the eighth, but Matt Bush closed out Oakland with a scoreless ninth for his third save.
The Rangers scored the first run in the third on Andrus' two-out single to left to plate Joey Gallo. Gray nearly got out of the inning unscathed after inducing a double play before Andrus' at-bat.
Alonso tied it for Oakland in the subsequent inning against Martinez with a two-out single to left, scoring Jed Lowrie.
Texas retook the lead in the fourth. With the runners at the corners at one out, a slow bouncer to third off the bat of Carlos Gomez scored Robinson Chirinos for a 2-1 edge.
Martinez ran into trouble in the fifth as Oakland took its first lead 3-2 but played a part in limiting the damage. With runners at second and third, Matt Joyce lined a one-out hit down the first-base line past diving Mike Napoli.
Joyce took a wide turn around first and was tagged out trying to scamper back to base by Martinez, who took a throw from second baseman Rougned Odor.
NOTES: The Rangers have put up at least a four-run inning in four of the last five games. ... Texas improved to 12-8 at home and 5-3 against Oakland this season. The Rangers also clinched the current series, improving to 5-7-1 in the series this season. ... Oakland dropped to 5-12 on the road. ... The A's did snap a streak of scoring three or fewer runs in four straight games. ... Attendance was announced as 37,898 humans and 871 dogs for the Rangers' Bark in the Park promotion.