Matt Olson capped a six-run second inning with a bases-clearing single in a four-hit, four-RBI performance Friday night as the Oakland Athletics opened a three-game home series against the Texas Rangers with a 10-5 victory.
The win was a big one for the A’s (77-64), who gained ground on all three teams ahead of them in the American League wild-card race. Oakland now trails each of the three — the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays — by just one game in the loss column.
After an Adolis Garcia RBI single had given the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, the A’s exploded against Texas starter Glenn Otto (0-1) in the second after the rookie set the stage by walking Jed Lowrie and hitting Mark Canha.
A single by Tony Kemp loaded the bases before a Sean Murphy single, an Elvis Andrus hit batsman and a Starling Marte single produced one run apiece.
Olson then singled to right field, sending all three baserunners scurrying home for a 6-1 lead. While the runs were crossing the plate, Olson was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double.
The Rangers got as close as 6-4 and knocked out Oakland starter Paul Blackburn in the third, with Nathaniel Lowe driving in a pair with a double and Nick Solak plating one with a single.
But Deolis Guerra (4-1) retired Jose Trevino, representing the tying run, to end the inning, and the A’s dominated both on the mound and at the plate from there en route to their third straight win.
Blackburn allowed four runs and six hits in his 2 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out three.
Josh Harrison contributed a two-run single, Marte had an RBI triple and Olson made it a four-RBI night with a run-scoring single to complete Oakland’s scoring.
Guerra was credited with the win after working 2 1/3 hitless innings.
The four-hit game was his third this season.
Marte and Kemp finished with three hits apiece, and they joined with Murphy and Andrus to each score twice for the A’s, whose 16 hits matched their season-high total in a 12-3 home win over the Rangers on Aug. 7.
Leody Taveras had two hits, including an RBI double in the ninth, and Garcia collected a pair of singles for the Rangers, who saw a four-game winning streak come to an end.
Otto took the loss, charged with eight runs on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck out five.
–Field Level Media