OAKLAND -- This is going to get fun…and even more testy.
You think Texas starter Matt Garza was upset with the safety squeeze bunt Eric Sogard dropped on him to score Alberto Callaspo for an insurance run in the seventh inning? He should probably expect more as the Rangers chase the A's the last two months of the season.
Garza hurling expletives at Sogard in particular-- and the A's dugout in general--was a nice backdrop for the A's ending their first three-game losing skid since early-May, with Saturday's 4-2 defeat of Texas, ending the Rangers' five-game winning streak.
The A's (64-46) went back up by 3 1/2 games on the Rangers (61-50) in the American League West. And with Texas All-Star right fielder Nelson Cruz pulled from the game in the eighth inning with a limp--and reportedly looking at a season-ending suspension Monday--the A's might not see him for the rest of the season.
Fun for the A's, testy for the Rangers.
Starting pitching report
Jarrod Parker was trailing 5-0 after two innings in his last start, so when he gave up a lead-off double to Leonys Martin, you had to wonder.
Parker quelled any concerns allowing just two runs in his six innings. While the right-hander might have earned his first decision in seven starts, he is also now riding a five-game winning streak and is 7-6. In those six no-decisions, the A's went just 1-5.
Parker, who gave up a monster solo homer to Ian Kinsler, had six strikeouts and two walks, one of which came around to score.
Parker threw 107 pitches, the second-most of his season behind the 108 he's thrown twice, with 64 strikes.
Sean Doolittle had a scoreless seventh, allowing one single, Ryan Cook pitched a perfect eighth and Grant Balfour struck out Geovany Soto and Jurickson Profar, on a pitch he was trying to get away from, and got pinch-hitter A.J. Pierzynski to pop out to short for his 29th save in 30 chances this season.
At the plate
Jed Lowrie gave the A's a 1-0 lead in the first inning when he singled in Coco Crisp one batter before Yoenis Cespedes went deep for his 17th home run, tying him with Brandon Moss for the team lead.
Eric Sogard's single in the fifth extended his career-best hitting streak to 11 games. Sogard would later drop that sacrifice safety squeeze bunt to score Alberto Callaspo in the seventh inning to give the A's the 4-2 lead.
In the field
The A's secret weapon came into play in the sixth inning -- the sun and high sky. What has become a common occurrence in day games at the Coliseum showed up when Rangers center fielder Loeonys Martin lost Brandon Moss' towering fly ball to dead center. The ball bouncedoff the warning track and over the wall for a ground-rule double. Moss, though, was stranded at second after a couple of fly outs.
The A's announced a crowd of 28,304 at the O.co Coliseum, which left far too many fans dressed as green seats for the Fox national broadcast, IMHO.
Tweet o' da game
Does the Coliseum lead the league in sun hits? -- @kirk_mccall
A.J. Griffin (10-7, 3.90 ERA) has allowed at least two home runs in two of his last three starts and the 26 homers he's given up on the season were the most in baseball entering Saturday. The right-hander has faced the Rangers four times in his career, going 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA. Left-hander Derek Holland (8-6, 3.18) is 4-1 with a 2.92 ERA in nine career starts against the A's and is riding a four-game winning streak against Oakland.