EditorsNote: Deletes repeat stat in 5th graph
Matt Olson and Khris Davis hit home runs as the Oakland Athletics opened an early eight-run lead and held on to beat the Texas Rangers 9-8 Sunday afternoon to earn a split of a four-game series in Arlington, Texas.
Ryan Buchter got Shin-Soo Choo to ground out as the potential tying run in the eighth inning, and Blake Treinen survived a shaky ninth, allowing the A’s to bookend a Rangers doubleheader sweep Saturday with a pair of narrow wins.
Olson hit a two-run homer as part of a three-run second inning, and Davis added a two-run shot with two outs in the third, helping Oakland jump to a quick 5-0 lead against struggling Rangers left-hander Drew Smyly (1-5).
The homers were the ninth of the season for Olson and the 13th for Davis.
Texas switched over to Shelby Miller in the fourth inning, but the Oakland offensive onslaught continued as Marcus Semien doubled home two runs before Mark Canha added a sacrifice fly to make it 8-0.
Smyly served up five runs on six hits in three innings. He walked two and struck out three.
The veteran has now been tagged for 22 hits and 19 runs in his past three starts.
A’s right-hander Frankie Montas (8-2) appeared headed to an easy win, his fourth straight on the road, before the Rangers used two errors to score twice in the fourth inning.
Montas was pulled after six innings, having allowed a solo homer to Asdrubal Cabrera, his 10th of the year, in the sixth. Montas was charged with three runs (two earned) on seven hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts.
The Oakland bullpen took an 8-3 lead into the eighth, but the Rangers made it interesting when a single by Hunter Pence and consecutive RBI doubles by Cabrera and Rougned Odor cut the deficit to three.
After Ronald Guzman reached base on an infield single, bringing the potential tying run to the plate, Oakland’s Lou Trivino struck out pinch hitter Logan Forsythe before Buchter, after watching Odor steal home to make it 8-6, got the dangerous Choo to ground out to allow the A’s to retain a two-run advantage.
Davis made it a three-RBI day with a run-scoring single in the ninth, giving Treinen a three-run cushion with which to work.
Turns out, Treinen needed it. The Oakland closer allowed one-out singles to Elvis Andrus and Nomar Mazara, and a two-out, RBI hit to Cabrera to get the Rangers within 9-7.
A passed ball made it 9-8, and a walk to Odor put two on with two outs before Treinen got Guzman to line out to center for his 14th save.
Davis, Stephen Piscotty and Ramon Laureano had two hits each for the A’s, who improved to 4-3 on their 10-game trip. Semien scored twice and drove in two runs.
Cabrera and Odor collected three hits and three RBIs apiece for the Rangers, who completed a 7-4 homestand. Pence, Guzman and Choo all had two hits for Texas, which out-hit Oakland 15-11.
—Field Level Media