CM – Oakland A gains ground in the wildcard race, defeating the Texas Rangers


OAKLAND – With the chance to make up ground in a tense wildcard race, the Oakland A’s went into a run-scoring frenzy. With 16 hits and five players playing multi-hit games, the A’s scored a 10-5 win at the Texas Rangers on Friday night. A win was needed to set the tone for a crucial stretch against beatable teams as the A’s work wanted at least to cement a wildcard spot.

With the win, the A extended their winning streak to three games. Along with the Seattle Mariners, the A’s are now one game back for the New York Yankees – who lost their seventh episode – for the second wild card. The Toronto Blue Jays, who also lost on Friday, are a half-game back from New York and the Boston Red Sox come first, one game ahead of New York.

No, the A’s are not watching the scoreboard. At least that’s what they say. Manager Bob Melvin doesn’t look at the board and he doesn’t see the fun in the stress of a five-team race. And although the team at this A has gone through some ups and downs in the past few months – small streaks of victories and failures between devastating injuries, costly saves and a blow in Toronto – their spirits have barely wavered and remain high.

« It’s fun. You can’t even describe it. You come out on the field and ask what happens next? » Tony Kemp said. « It’s not even work. I play baseball and get out of here and accept a playoff race. What else would you prefer to do? These guys are having fun. We play table tennis, basketball. We have a good time. We’re easy going. That’s one word I would use to describe our team now. Play easy . « 

The A’s looked particularly relaxed on Friday, albeit against the call-up of Glenn Otto and a last-placed Rangers team. Although they are usually cold against pitchers they have never met, the A’s fell a second inning with six runs against Rangers starter Glenn Otto to set the tone. With the loaded bases, Sean Murphy’s RBI single scored the game 1-1. Starling Marte’s single with two runs was the first of his three- Hit Night. Matt Olson’s Base Clearing Singl e – he was marked on the repetition at second base – gave the A’s a healthy 6-1 lead.

When Texas threatened the lead against Paul Blackburn – with three runs on four hits at exit speeds well over 100 mph – the A responded with four more runs, scored in the fourth and fifth innings. First, Martes Triple scored the second run for Elvis Andrus and Olson’s single scored the eighth run of the A. They would add two more in the fifth inning of Josh Harrison’s two-time single.

Olson ended the night with four hits, all singles and four RBI. He has reached a career high of 95 RBI and with an RBI single against Hyeon-Jong Yang he has an MLB-leading 42 RBI against left-handed pitching. Along with Marte, Tony Kemp recorded a three-hit game with a motley single and an infield hit that slipped headlong into first base. Andrus and Sean Murphy have also recorded multi-hit games.

« Everyone felt good today, » said Kemp. “I think we have to keep that up. Of course we need help from some other teams, but the cool thing about this team is that there is no panic. Just like at the beginning of the year when we lost and skipped 13 games. We’ll take care of the little things now. A couple of guys get hot and we play good defense. Pitch good. we just have to keep going. « 

The key to victory was also Guerra, who went 2-1 / 3 scoreless to prevent a comeback in Texas and pave the way for the A’s bats to keep their pace.

« That stabilized the game for us, » said Melvin. “Gave us two pluses, made it economical too, and allowed us to get a few more runs and make it a different game. If you’re looking for guys who have really influenced the game, I don’t know anyone more than him.  »

With Blackburn’s 2 2/3 inning outing, A’s starters have completed five innings or less in 16 of their last 26 starts – a constant drain on a taxed bullpen. But Guerra was strong.

« He’s just a quiet guy who goes about his business, » said Kemp. “He sweats like all of my body weight. It’s very impressive. He’s a hard worker. You can always see him and Petit running stadiums. A lot of things he does to form a team.  »
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