A.J. Griffin surrendered back-to-back homers in the second inning Sunday, and the Texas Rangers’ bats were held in check for a third straight game in an 8-3 Oakland A’s win that completed a weekend sweep.
The loss knocked the Rangers three games back in the wild-card standings after arriving to Oakland Coliseum just one-game back. The sweep to last-place Oakland rates as a shocker after taking three of four games from the Los Angeles Angels to start the road trip.
Griffin was pulled after only 3 1/3 innings and plenty of solid contact. Matt Olson and Matt Chapman homered on consecutive swings to move the A’s into a 3-1 lead.
The Rangers scored one in the second for a 1-0 lead as an error allowed Adrian Beltre to score, and Shin-Soo Choo homered in the fifth to bring the Rangers back to within 3-1.
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The A’s posted another run in the sixth against Austin Bibens-Dirkx, and the Rangers appeared primed to take the lead in the eighth after scoring one and loading the bases with one out.
But Mike Napoli’s liner to third base was snagged by Chapman, who stepped on third to catch Andrus for a double play.
Oakland tacked on four runs, two of which were unearned, in the eighth off relievers Alex Claudio and Ricky Rodriguez to seal the victory.
How Rangers hitters fared: They made it interesting in the late innings, but again couldn’t get the key hit. ... The Rangers took advantage of an error in the second inning to score the game’s first run, as Adrian Beltre came home on a Mike Napoli pop that was dropped. ... Shin-Soo Choo homered in the fifth, and Elvis Andrus singled in the eighth to make it a 4-3 game. ... The bases were loaded in the eighth with one out for Napoli, but his liner to third was snared and Andrus was caught off third to end the inning.
How Rangers pitchers fared: A.J. Griffin allowed runs in only one of his innings, but he was hit hard and needed help from the bullpen to keep it from getting worse. ... Griffin allowed back-to-back homers in the third as Oakland took a 3-1 lead, and Austin Bibens-Dirkx escaped a tight spot after replacing Griffin with one out in the fourth. ... The A’s added a run against Bibens-Dirkx in the sixth. It was a key insurance run as Marcus Semien beat out the back end of a potential double play.