OAKLAND — Dominating the American League’s top team should have made for a joyous all-around night for the A’s.
That’s just not how it goes in 2016 however, when all of the good the A’s do somehow gets countered by a dose of bad too. They walloped the Texas Rangers 14-5 on Tuesday but watched top pitching prospect Sean Manaea leave with a forearm injury in the top of the fifth.
The seriousness of the injury wasn’t immediately known, but the left-hander was diagnosed with a strained pronator muscle. He left with one out in the fifth when manager Bob Melvin and assistant athletic trainer Brian Schulman visited the mound after Manaea gave up a solo home run to Shin-Soo Choo.
And so it goes for the A’s, who have lost three starting pitchers to season-ending injuries and have used the disabled list 15 times this season. But until more is known about Manaea’s injury, the A’s can relish in the fact they stuffed the box score with so many big numbers Monday.
The first-place Rangers came in with a league-best 39-24 record, having won 14 of their past 18 and leading the AL West by five games. But the A’s dropped the hammer on them for a season-high in runs and tying a season high with 17 hits.
Khris Davis hit a three-run homer and drove in five runs, and Josh Phegley added a three-run homer of his own. With Oracle Arena buzzing next door as the Warriors tried unsuccessfully to close out the NBA Finals, a much smaller crowd watched the A’s open up a 14-2 lead by the fifth. After dropping seven in a row to fall into a double-digit deficit in the division standings, the A’s have won their past two games and moved to 4-0 against Texas this season.
Starting pitching report
Given a cushy early lead, Manaea was showing good form before leaving the game. He gave up two runs over 4 1/3 innings but struck out five and walked just one. It was a tough break that he left the game before completing five innings, making him ineligible for a victory that was surely coming his way.
Daniel Coulombe was credited with his first major league victory, throwing 1 2/3 innings in relief of Manaea.
At the plate
Where to begin?
The first seven hitters in the A’s batting order all notched at least two hits. Marcus Semien had three hits to go with a stolen base and Jake Smolinski also had three. Billy Butler backed up a three-hit game Sunday with two more hits Monday to go with two runs scored and an RBI. With Texas lefty Cesar Ramos stepping in for injured starter Yu Darvish, A’s manager Bob Melvin penciled Butler and Smolinski into the lineup for a second straight day and both responded again. With another lefty scheduled to throw for Texas on Tuesday in Martin Perez, those two figure to be starting again.
But seeing Davis clear the fence in the third for his 15th homer had to be a nice sight for Melvin. It was Davis’ first long ball since he was hit on the elbow with a pitch June 4, which caused numbness in his left hand and has kept him out of the lineup occasionally since then.
In the field
The A’s committed three errors, two by third baseman Danny Valencia and one from Manaea while he was covering first. But they also had some gems. Semien made a terrific diving catch on Rougned Odor’s liner, and second baseman Tyler Ladendorf had two great plays, including making a strong throw to first from his rear in the eighth to get Ryan Rua.
The announced turnout was 13,453.
Eric Surkamp (0-3, 6.41) is back for his fourth stint with Oakland this season and will make his seventh start Tuesday. He’ll be opposed by lefty Martin Perez (5-4, 3.22). First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.