ARLINGTON – Matt Harrison continued his string of strong starts, but seemed destined to be a hard-luck loser on Friday night.
That all changed in the eighth inning. The Texas Rangers rallied for four runs against Oakland Athletics reliever Grant Balfour, and pulled out a 4-2 victory at Rangers Ballpark. Harrison earned his 11th win of the season, and is tied for the American League lead.
The Rangers had been held scoreless over seven innings by A’s rookie starter A.J. Griffin and reliever Jerry Blevins. Balfour came in for the eighth, and the Rangers’ rallied.
Elvis Andrus had a one-out single and then Josh Hamilton drew a walk. After Adrian Beltre flew out to shallow right, Michael Young and Nelson Cruz each drew walks. Cruz’s walk scored Andrus.
The A’s brought in Ryan Cook, who served up a bases-clearing triple to Craig Gentry.
Rangers reliever Tanner Scheppers earned his first career save, giving up a run on a solo home run by Chris Carter in the ninth.
In the end, the Rangers didn’t spoil another strong start by Harrison. He allowed two runs on eight hits with one walk and seven strikeouts over eight innings. He took the loss, snapping a six-game winning streak.
Oakland scored single runs in the fourth and fifth off Harrison. Jemile Weeks led off the fourth with a triple, and scored on a single by Yoenis Cespedes. In the fifth, Coco Crisp had an RBI single.
-- Drew Davison