ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Joey Gallo homered and had a career-high five RBIs to back left-hander Martin Perez, and the Texas Rangers beat the Oakland Athletics 8-1 on Sunday.
Still playing third base on the first day Adrian Beltre (right calf) was eligible to come off the disabled list, Gallo hit a three-run homer for the last of three straight hits in the second inning – the only three allowed by Sean Manaea (0-1).
The Oakland lefty struck out six straight and finished with a career-high 10 strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. But he gave up six runs, five earned, and hit two batters, including Nomar Mazara with a glancing blow to the batting helmet. Mazara stayed in the game.
Robinson Chirinos had a two-run homer and another RBI on a bases-loaded walk.
Perez (1-1) allowed six hits and three walks with six strikeouts in 5 1/3 scoreless innings to improve to 7-0 with a 1.48 ERA in eight home daytime starts since the beginning of 2014.
Leading 3-0 in the fifth, Perez escaped a bases-loaded jam with one out, getting Ryon Healy on an infield fly and striking out Khris Davis.
After Mark Canha doubled off Perez to end an 0-for-25 drought and put runners at second and third with out in the sixth, reliever Jose Leclerc struck out Josh Phegley and got pinch-hitter Matt Joyce on a deep flyout to right.
Gallo had a two-run single in the sixth to help the Rangers avoid their first 1-5 start since 2006. The 23-year-old slugger has two homers while starting all six games in place of Beltre, who needs 58 hits for 3,000 in his career.
Matt Bush’s wild pitch in the eighth gave Oakland its only run.
Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn will take rookie righty Raul Alcantara’s spot in the rotation Thursday at Kansas City after Alcantara gave up eight runs over two innings in a 10-5 loss to Texas in the series opener. Hahn replaced him and allowed two runs in six innings. A’s manager Bob Melvin didn’t say it was permanent. “One start and out of the rotation, that’s kind of difficult,” Melvin said. “We’re trying to play a hot hand.”
Rangers: RHP Tyson Ross (thoracic outlet syndrome surgery) is scheduled for five innings in an extended spring training game Monday in Arizona. … INF Hanser Alberto (right shoulder tightness) will continue his rehab Monday in Arizona.
Athletics: RHP Jharel Cotton (0-1, 10.68 ERA) pitches for the A’s in Kansas City’s home opener Monday. The three-game set is the only series outside the AL West for Oakland in the team’s first 26 games.
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