ARLINGTON – Adrian Beltre did it again.
The Oakland Athletics were seven outs away from a victory in a critical four-game series opener against the Texas Rangers. They had gotten an impressive outing by rookie Dan Straily, and knocked Rangers starter Derek Holland out after three innings.
But the Rangers rallied behind a game-tying two-run homer by Beltre in the seventh inning, paving the way for Beltre to hit the walk-off single in the ninth inning in a 5-4 victory on Monday night at Rangers Ballpark.
With the victory, the Rangers extended their lead in the American League West over Oakland to five games with nine left to play.
Trailing 4-2 going into the seventh, the Rangers continued their struggles against Straily, who was making his sixth big league start. Ian Kinsler grounded out and Elvis Andrus lined out to start the inning.
Straily was pulled after that, though, as Oakland went with Jerry Blevins for the lefty-lefty matchup against Josh Hamilton.
Hamilton drew a walk on a full count, and the A’s turned to right-hander Pat Neshek against Beltre. Beltre came through with a two-run opposite field shot to tie the game.
The clutch blast was four days after Beltre brought in the go-ahead runs in a 3-1 victory over the Angels.
-- Drew Davison