PHOENIX — Ian Kinsler saw an opportunity to take an extra base in the first inning and went for it. The moment Oakland left fielder Yoenis Cespedes dropped his head to pick up Elvis Andrus’ single, Kinsler bolted for third.He slid in safely, and Andrus hustled over to second. That set up consecutive sacrifice flies by Lance Berkman and Adrian Beltre as the Texas Rangers went on to a 6-2 victory over the A’s on Thursday afternoon at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.“That’s what we need to get back to, and that’s something that separated us from the rest of the league,” said Kinsler, who reached on an error to start the game. “It’s nice to see second and third in the top of the first inning. We’re going to cash in on those more times than not.”Starter Randy Wells didn’t have a dominating day but worked out of several jams and made it through five innings. He allowed one run on three hits with four walks and four strikeouts and remains in the mix for the fifth spot in the rotation.He got a double-play grounder in the first inning and escaped a bases-loaded jam in the second inning.“Ideally you’d like to not be in those situations, but you’re going to be in those,” Wells said. “Being able to calm down and make a pitch there to get out of those innings are a big positive.”The Rangers had solid pitching the rest of the way, too. Nate Robertson continued his impressive spring with another scoreless outing for the seventh time.Yoshinori Tateyama and Jeff Beliveau also had scoreless appearances, and Coty Woods closed out the game by giving up a run on two hits in the ninth.Woods was clearly frustrated when the run scored, but manager Ron Washington likes to see that kind of fire in a 25-year-old.“You don’t see that in young guys too often,” Washington said.
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison