ARLINGTON, Texas (CBS/AP) — The Texas Rangers rallied before the very end this time.
Elvis Andrus and Nomar Mazara had consecutive two-RBI hits in another late four-run outburst, this one in the seventh inning instead of the ninth like the previous two nights, and the Rangers beat the Oakland Athletics 6-5 on Saturday night for their season-best fifth straight victory.
“We don’t want to always win close,” said Mazara, who lined a tiebreaking two-run double to the left field wall. “We’d like to put a lot of runs together, but it’s always good to win games.”
Texas loaded the bases in the seventh when reliever Ryan Dull (1-2) allowed a hit and two walks before Liam Hendriks replaced him. Andrus then grounded a single through the left side of the infield to tie it at 4 before Mazara’s second double of the game.
The Rangers were coming of consecutive 5-2 wins when they scored four runs in the ninth inning each night capped by three-run homers. Mike Napoli’s game-ending homer beat San Diego on Thursday, and Joey Gallo’s blast won the series opener against Oakland on Friday.
“Look, we’ll take those anytime we get them,” manager Jeff Banister said. “Where we are and where we’ve been and kind of how we’re trending, we’ll take any of those any way we can get them.”
Texas matched AL West-leading Houston for the longest current winning streak in the majors. But the two-time defending division champs are still eight games back of the lead. The Rangers gained only a half-game in the standings during their streak, only because the Astros got rained out at Yankee Stadium and didn’t play Saturday.
Tony Barnette (1-0) got the latest win despite allowing three hits and a run in one inning. Keone Kela gave up a run in the eighth before Matt Bush struck out two in a perfect ninth for his third save in four chances.
Yonder Alonso hit his 12th homer in the eighth for Oakland to extend his career high after an earlier RBI single. Matt Joyce’s two-run single in the fifth put the A’s up 3-2, though he was thrown out trying to get back to first base after a wide turn.
“It looks like it’s going to go down in the corner and it hit the stool, kicked back out and it looked like it caught him by surprise,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “Now he’s trying to get back to first and gets thrown out.”
Oakland’s Sonny Gray allowed two runs over six innings, and left with a 3-2 lead in his attempt to make it seven wins in his seventh career road start against the Rangers. “I was able to manage through the game tonight a little bit better than I have,” said Gray, who made only his third start since being on the DL to start the season with a strained right shoulder. “At the same time, I still don’t feel really sharp.” … Nick Martinez is winless in 11 consecutive starts for Texas since his victory last Aug. 5 against Houston. Martinez gave up three runs in six innings.
A’s: Reliever Sean Doolittle, out since April 30 with a strained left shoulder, is only doing strengthening work. He hasn’t yet progressed to any kind of throwing motions yet.
A’s: When Kendall Graveman pitched at Texas the first week of the season, the righty held the Rangers without a hit until Napoli’s two-out solo homer in the seventh inning. Graveman, then 2-0, is since 0-2 with a 4.65 ERA in last four starts.
© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed