ARLINGTON – The Rangers’ bats finally awoke and the bullpen pitched 5 1/3 innings of one run ball to overcome a fourth inning in which Nick Tepesch allowed six runs to beat Oakland 8-7.
In the second inning, AJ Pierzynski smacked the first pitch he saw from A’s right hander Dan Strailey off the right field foul pole to make it a 2-0 game. The home run, which scored Adrian Beltre, ended the Rangers’ streak of three consecutive games without one.
Center fielder Leonys Martin added to the Texas lead in the third, scoring on an Ian Kinsler single to left field. The hit was Kinsler’s first since returning from a stint on the disabled list with bruised ribs.
Oakland didn’t allow the Texas lead to last long, though. To start the fourth, John Jaso hit a leadoff double and eventually scored on Brandon Moss’ single. Tepesch loaded the bases for Oakland with no outs by walking Josh Donaldson. One batter later, left fielder Seth Smith made Tepesch pay, stroking a single to tie the game 3-3. And after another single by Jeff Lowrie, Oakland took control 4-3. Coco Crisp drove in the sixth and final run of the inning, effectively ending a frustrating night for Tepesch.
The Rangers offensive revival continued in the fifth. Pierzynski’s two-out double to right field scored Kinsler. Nelson Cruz then belted his second home run of the night to the lawn in center field to put Texas ahead 7-6. Cruz wasn’t done adding to Texas’ offensive output, either. His fourth RBI of the night, a double in the seventh, scored Beltre and gave the Rangers an 8-6 advantage.
Closer Joe Nathan allowed one run in the ninth but recorded his 21st save of the season.
-- Christian Clark