Adrian Beltre drove in three runs, Delino DeShields drove in two, and Cole Hamels allowed one unearned run in six innings as the Texas Rangers completed a three-game sweep of the Oakland A’s on Thursday with an 8-1 win.
Prince Fielder added a two-run homer as the Rangers moved 3 1/2 games ahead of Houston in the American League West ahead of a critical three-game weekend series against the Astros at Minute Maid Park.
The Rangers’ magic number for clinching the West is seven.
Pitching: The Rangers won for the eighth consecutive Hamels start. He has been better this season, but he had a knack for executing pitches when he needed them. … The A’s had a base runner in each of Hamels’ six innings, but scored only once. It was an unearned run at that as DeShields dropped a Jake Smolinski flyball that would have ended the third. Instead, Josh Reddick scored from third. … Hamels, though, got four double plays in the first five innings, including one in the fifth to snuff out an A’s threat. … Hamels bowed out after 87 pitches. … Keone Kela, Andrew Faulkner and Anthony Bass worked an inning apiece.
Hitting: The Rangers kept the pressure on the A’s pitchers, beginning in the first inning. Shin-Soo Choo had an RBI double after DeShields started the game with a single and stole second, and Beltre followed two batters later with an RBI single. … DeShields drove in Rougned Odor in the second and ended a Rangers scoring drought in the sixth with another RBI single that again scored Odor. … Beltre followed three batters later with a bases-loaded single to plated two more runs. … Fielder hit his 22nd homer of the season, a two-run shot, in the eighth.
Notable: Rangers fielders lead the major leagues with 162 double plays. … The Rangers improved to a season-best 14 games over .500, their highest mark since finishing 2013 at 91-72.