The Texas Rangers were in position for their first walk-off victory of the season, but they couldn’t push the go-ahead run in from third with one out in the ninth.
The Oakland Athletics took advantage, scoring what proved to be the game-winning run in the 10th for a 5-4 victory on Thursday afternoon at a sold-out Rangers Ballpark.
With the game tied 4-4 in the ninth and A’s reliever Ryan Cook on the mound, Michael Young led off with a hard grounder that went through the legs of A’s third baseman Josh Donaldson. That error put a runner in scoring position with no outs, and Young moved to third on a grounder by Adrian Beltre.
Oakland then intentionally walked David Murphy to bring up Nelson Cruz, who struck out swinging. The A’s started to pitch to Mike Napoli, but eventually issued an intentional walk to him to load the bases and face Brandon Snyder. Snyder didn’t come through, rolling a grounder down the first-base line.
The A’s took the lead in the 10th against Rangers reliever Mike Adams. Jonny Gomes reached on a dribbler that stayed fair down the third-base line, moved to third on a single by Daric Barton and scored on a single by Kila Ka’aihue.
Oakland left-hander Brian Fuentes worked around a one-out single by Ian Kinsler to close it out in the 10th.
Texas had rallied from a 3-0 deficit by scoring two runs in each the fourth and sixth to take the lead.
Mitch Moreland sent a two-run, opposite field shot to left in the fourth, and then had a solo homer in the sixth. The Rangers added another run that inning, thanks to a generous call by home plate umpire Laz Diaz.
With one out and runners at first and third, Elvis Andrus tried to lay down a squeeze bunt. He popped it up, and A’s starter Brandon McCarthy appeared to catch it. However, Diaz ruled the ball hit the ground, as Craig Gentry scored to give the Rangers a 4-3 lead.
Oakland tied it at 4-4 in the seventh, as Josh Reddick came through with a solo home run to right-center off Alexi Ogando.
Oakland had taken a 3-0 lead in the first inning off Texas starter Matt Harrison with consecutive run-scoring doubles by Jonny Gomes and Kurt Suzuki.
Harrison lasted 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits with a season-high three walks and three strikeouts.
-- Drew Davison