EditorsNote: Tweaks 4th, 9th grafs
Shin-Soo Choo hit the first pitch of the game for a home run, and left-hander Mike Minor faced the minimum for six innings Wednesday afternoon as the Texas Rangers salvaged a win in their three-game Northern California series against the Oakland Athletics with a 4-2 victory at Oakland Coliseum.
Joey Gallo also homered for the Rangers, who hadn’t scored in the first two games of the series, losing 9-0 and 6-0.
Choo changed that on Edwin Jackson’s first delivery, the fifth time in his career he’s homered on the first pitch of a game and the 21st time he’s led off the first inning with a homer.
The home run was his 21st of the season.
Adrian Beltre added RBI singles in the third and fifth innings, sandwiching Gallo’s 33rd home run of the season in the fourth, as the Rangers built a 4-0 lead through five.
Jackson (4-3) was pulled after Beltre’s second run-scoring hit in the fifth, having given up four runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out two.
Minor (10-6) gave up a leadoff walk to Khris Davis in the second inning and a leadoff single to Chad Pinder in the third, but both baserunners were eliminated on double plays.
He was taken out after six shutout innings, having thrown 73 pitches. He struck out four.
The A’s scored a run apiece in the seventh and eighth innings against the Rangers’ bullpen and both times threatened for more before being denied.
Stephen Piscotty’s two-out double in the seventh scored Matt Chapman with Oakland’s first run and put runners on second and third. But left-hander Alex Claudio replaced righty Cory Gearrin and struck out Matt Olson to retain the 4-1 lead.
Jed Lowrie delivered a pinch-hit RBI double with one out in the eighth to score Pinder and bring the potential tying run to the plate, but Chris Martin got Marcus Semien to fly out before striking out Ramon Laureano to keep Oakland two runs behind.
The A’s loaded the bases in the ninth with two outs when right-hander Jose Leclerc hit Pinder with a pitch after having walked Chapman and Olson. But the new Rangers closer then struck out Nick Martini for his sixth save.
Choo scored two runs while Beltre and Jurickson Profar collected two hits apiece for the Rangers, who now venture across the San Francisco Bay to take on the Giants in a three-game series that begins Friday.
Pinder had two hits for the A’s, who completed a 6-3 homestand that featured 2-1 series wins over Seattle, Houston and Texas.
—Field Level Media