Ryan Rua enjoys big game as Rangers' cleanup hitter
Robinson Chirinos hit a three-run homer early on Tuesday night, and Ryan Rua and Elvis Andrus added solo shots as the Texas Rangers outlasted the Oakland A’s 10-6.
Rua drove in three runs, and Andrus plated two to back Martin Perez, who allowed four runs in seven innings to win his fifth straight start and to win on the road for the first time in 15 decisions.
But amid all the offensive and pitching platitudes, Perez and the Rangers badly needed some first-inning defense to make the win possible.
The first two A’s had reached on line-drive singles to put runners on the corners, and Danny Valencia ripped a line drive toward right field. But Jurickson Profar dived to pick it off for the first out.
Khris Davis followed with a line drive into the right-field corner to score one run, but Shin-Soo Choo and Rougned Odor relayed the ball home in time to get Jed Lowrie for the second out.
The A’s scored only once in the first despite hitting five balls hard, and Chirinos responded with a three-run homer in the second that gave Perez some cushion to find a groove.
“After that play, I said, ‘Throw the pitches where you want and make the adjustment,’” Perez said.
Rua, in his first career game as the leadoff hitter, homered to start a three-run third, and Andrus homered with one out in the eighth to end a stretch of 12 straight outs. The Rangers tacked on two more in the ninth, including Rua’s RBI single.
“It’s huge for us, especially how last night went,” Rua said. “For us to be able to put up runs early and last as it got closer is huge.”
Hitting: Eric Surkamp was no match for the Rangers, who scored once in the first on a Ryan Rua sacrifice fly and three times in the second and the third. ... Robinson Chirinos had a three-run homer in the second after Rougned Odor and Elvis Andrus singled and walked with one out. ... Rua started the fourth with a homer, his sixth, and five of the next six Rangers reached to make it 7-1. The RBIs went to Andrus on a single to left and Choo on a bases-loaded walk. ... The Rangers didn’t do much the next four innings, with Rua the only base runner on a one-out walk in the fourth. ... Andrus, though, broke up a string of 12 straight outs with a homer with one out in the eighth. ... Rua added another RBI in the ninth with a broken-bat single to scored Ian Desmond, who led off with a double. Prince Fielder followed and drove home Rua with an RBI double.
Pitching: Martin Perez needed help in the first inning as the A’s were hitting him around, and got it. After the first two batters singled, Jurickson Profar dived to snatch a Danny Valencia liner. Khris Davis followed with an RBI double into the corner, but a perfect relay from Shin-Soo Choo to Odor to Chirinos got Jed Lowrie at the plate. ... It was fairly smooth sailing for Perez, including a four-pitch fifth, until the sixth inning. The A’s collected three straight one-out singles for one run, got another on a Billy Butler sacrifice fly and a third to make it 7-4 on a Josh Phegley RBI double. ... Perez was at only 76 pitches after six, so he returned for the seventh and promptly allowed a leadoff single. But he got the next three batters to get the Rangers to the back end of the bullpen with a three-run cushion. ... After Matt Bush worked an easy eighth, Alex Claudio allowed two runs and got only one out in the ninth before closer Sam Dyson was pressed into action. He and Odor combined on a nice play for the second out, and Dyson then struck out Lowrie.