OAKLAND, Calif. — Craig Gentry used his speed to make three critical plays early on, Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton homered, and Roy Oswalt had his second straight good outing as the Rangers beat Oakland 6-1 Tuesday night.
The victory allowed the Rangers to maintain their 51/2-game lead over Anaheim in the American League West, and helped cool off the hottest team in baseball.
The loss was only the second of the month for the A’s.
Gentry made a diving, run-saving catch to end the second inning, and sparked a two-out rally in the third with an infield hit. He went to third on a throwing error by Bartolo Colon and scored on Elvis Andrus’ single to batters later.
Beltre opened the fourth with his 17th homer, Michael Young followed with a single and Nelson Cruz doubled. After David Murphy bounced out, Mike Napoli delivered an RBI single for a 3-0 lead.
Gentry then beat out a squeeze bunt that scored Cruz.
Oswalt (3-1) survived a double and hit batsman to start the second with a double play and Gentry’s catch. Those two at-bats started a stretch in which Oswalt retired 13 of 14 before Josh Reddick homered on the first pitch of the seventh inning.
Oswalt retired the next hitter before exiting after 103 pitches and only three hits allowed. He struck out six, including Yoenis Cespedes to end his night.
The A’s then put together a threat against Robbie Ross and Alexi Ogando, with the tying run hitting twice, but Ogando got Kurt Suzuki and Brandon Inge to end the inning.
Hamilton got back the run Oakland scored in the seventh with a leadoff homer to start the eighth. Hamilton, who struck out in his first three at-bats, has 28 homers. He added a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
The A's kept pushing in the eighth, loading the bases against Mike Adams with one out. But the right-hander got Cespedes looking, and Brandon Moss popped up to end the threat.