OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)Starling Marte went 4 for 5 with an RBI, Seth Brown homered and the Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 6-3 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.
Sean Murphy and Jed Lowrie each drove in two runs for Oakland, which won its fourth straight game to move into the top AL wild-card spot.
”There’s a lot of baseball left,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. ”The main thing you need to do is just focus on yourself. We’re playing better baseball right now.”
Isiah Kiner-Falefa homered for Texas, which lost its 14th consecutive road game, two shy of the franchise record. The Rangers have lost six straight games overall.
”I (think) we need to get the bottom of the lineup to be a little bit more productive,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said. ”Right now, Kiner and Adolis (Garcia) are swinging the bat pretty well, but we need some better at-bats, some lengthier at-bats from the bottom half.”
A’s rookie James Kaprielian came off the injured list to pitch six strong innings, allowing two runs on three hits with four strikeouts. Kaprielian (6-4) missed his previous start with a right shoulder impingement.
”It wasn’t even a thought in my mind today,” the right-hander said. ”Physically, I feel great. … To be honest, I didn’t even realize I put together a quality start. So I am happy about that.”
Added Melvin: ”He gives us six innings, only three hits, gets swings and misses, real efficient. After having a little bit of time off, he didn’t miss a beat. He pitched in the fashion that he basically has been all year.”
The Rangers grabbed an early 1-0 lead when Nathaniel Lowe doubled home Garcia in the top of the first. The A’s responded with an RBI single from Lowrie and a two-run double from Murphy in the bottom half to take a 3-1 lead.
Brown launched a 448-foot home run off Rangers starter Jordan Lyles in the fourth inning and Lowrie drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 5-1.
Oakland hammered Lyles (5-9) for six earned runs on 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings. The Texas right-hander fell to 0-4 with a 7.45 ERA since the All-Star break.
Kiner-Falefa’s eighth-inning homer cut the A’s lead to 6-3, but Lou Trivino pitched a scoreless ninth for his 18th save.
Rangers: LHP John King (left shoulder inflammation) is scheduled to pitch multiple innings in relief for Triple-A Round Rock on Tuesday. Woodward then plans to ease him back into the Texas bullpen. ”We’ll have to look out for him,” Woodward said. ”We wouldn’t stick him in the bullpen and just use him on a nightly basis. We would just say, OK, if he pitches, he’s going to have a couple of days off to pitch again.”
Athletics: Melvin said IF/OF Chad Pinder (strained right hamstring) is on track to begin a rehab assignment around Aug. 15. Pinder has been on the injured list since July 8. … RHP Mike Fiers (sprained right elbow) is throwing out to 90 feet but is still not close to pitching off a mound. He has been on the IL since May 8.
Rangers: Recalled LHP Wes Benjamin from Triple-A Round Rock and optioned RHP Jimmy Herget.
Athletics: Optioned RHP Daulton Jeffries to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room on the roster for Kaprielian.
Rangers: LHP Kolby Allard (2-10, 5.07 ERA) will try to snap an eight-game losing streak when Texas opens a three-game series in Seattle on Tuesday night.
Athletics: LHP Sean Manaea (8-7 3.26) will start Tuesday as Oakland begins a three-game series in Cleveland. Manaea is 3-0 with a 2.39 ERA in four career starts against the Indians.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports