The Texas Rangers needed this in the worst way.
After failing to hold a late lead for the second consecutive night, the Rangers rallied against the Oakland Athletics and pulled out an 8-7 walk-off victory in the bottom of the 10th.
It’s the first walk-off win this season for the Rangers, who snapped a four-game losing streak — a stretch that had been particularly frustrating.
After blowing a 5-0 lead in the eighth inning Friday, a repeat performance started to play out Saturday in front of 32,207 in attendance at Globe Life Park.
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The A’s scored six runs in the seventh — aided by two errors and a three-run homer by Josh Reddick — to take a 7-3 lead and seemingly suck the life out of the Rangers.
But Texas responded in the bottom of the inning, taking advantage of Oakland pitching that couldn’t find the strike zone.
With one out, Elvis Andrus and Prince Fielder walked. And after Adrian Beltre flew out, Kyle Blanks collected his fourth hit of the night — an RBI single to right.
Blanks also had a double and a homer. Shin-Soo Choo, who had recently sat out two games because of a slump, officially busted out of it with a three-run homer just over the wall in right to tie the game at 7.
“I’m definitely proud of how he’s continued to battle,” manager Jeff Banister said of Choo. “I see the heart, the fight every day.”
It was Choo again in the bottom of the 10th. He led off with a double to the corner in right and moved to third after Robinson Chirinos and Carlos Peguero, who were both attempting to bunt him over, walked.
Rougned Odor came to the plate with the bases loaded and no outs and the infield playing in. Odor’s sharply hit grounder just clipped the glove of shortstop Marcus Semien and rolled through the dirt, allowing Choo to score the game-winner.
In the seventh, the A’s sent nine batters to the plate to score six runs and take a 7-3 lead. Errors by Andrus and Chirinos contributed to the meltdown as starter Nick Martinez made way for Alex Claudio, who then made way for Anthony Bass.
The Rangers won for the fifth time when Martinez starts. He was charged with five runs, two earned, on seven hits and two hit batters.
“I have to tip my hat to the guys. So much fight. They never gave up,” Martinez said. “We come to the ballpark every day trying to win ... even though we’ve gotten off to a slow start. A game like today really shows what we’re made of. Hopefully, we can keep it going.”
Bass took over for Claudio after just one batter. It was a bunt back to Claudio, who threw home to Chirinos to get a runner coming from third. Chirinos’ throw back to third sailed high into left field, allowing two runs to score. Bass was charged with one earned run on two hits in 1 1/3 innings.
Neftali Feliz pitched the ninth and allowed two hits, but kept Oakland off the board. Keone Kela pitched the 10th and earned his first career victory.