OAKLAND, Calif. — Yoenis Cespedes and Coco Crisp hit home runs against Derek Holland, who walked five and had his shortest outing since June 11 as Oakland beat the Rangers 4-2 and pulled into a first-place tie in the American League West.
David Murphy hit a two-run homer for the Rangers, who saw an 11-game road winning streak against division opponents snapped. The A’s have made up three games since Friday.
Cespedes started the second with his 21st homer of the season, and the A’s added another run on a Chris Young single to center that scored Alberto Callaspo. Young was out at home trying to score on an error by center fielder Leonys Martin.
Murphy knotted the score in the fifth, lifting his first homer since Aug. 1 off the camera stand in center fielder.
Holland, though, couldn’t keep the A’s from retaking the lead only moments later. Michael Choice, the Mansfield Timberview graduate who was drafted in the first round in 2011 out of UT-Arlington, reached on a throwing error by Adrian Beltre, and Coco Crisp followed with a towering flyball that nicked off the left-field foul pole for a 4-2 lead.
The Rangers had three good chances late to draw closer. They loaded the bases with one out in the sixth, but Beltre couldn’t score from third on Lance Berkman’s liner to right field, and Murphy grounded out to end the threat.
They had another chance in the eighth, putting runners at first and second with one out, but Mitch Moreland struck out and Berkman flied to deep center.
In the ninth, Murphy walked and Leonys Martin singled to start the inning against Grant Balfour. Jurickson Profar took two strikes while trying to get a bunt down before grounding to first. With runners at second and third, Ian Kinsler's flyball to right field wasn't deep enough to score Murphy, and Beltre bounced to third to end the game.
The Rangers went 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position.
-- Jeff Wilson