Robinson Chirinos' first homer got Rangers going
Down five runs with four innings to go and facing one of the American League’s best young pitchers, the Texas Rangers found themselves in quite the predicament Wednesday night.
One swing of Robinson Chirinos’ bat, though, changed the momentum. One swing of Rougned Odor’s bat tied the game later in the same inning.
And then the Venezuelans decided to do it again.
Chirinos and Odor each hit two homers, including one apiece in a five-run sixth against Sonny Gray, and the Rangers rallied to beat the Oakland A’s 7-5.
“I’ve been working hard to feel good at the plate, and it’s showing up,” Chirinos said. “The first one I hit put in everybody to come back and have the big inning.”
Chirinos started the comeback with a leadoff homer in the sixth to make it 5-1 against Gray, who allowed only three hits in the first five innings. Odor capped rally with game-tying two-run shot to the opposite field.
Chirinos gave the Rangers their first lead with a solo shot an inning later, and Odor made it 7-5 with a deep solo shot with two outs in the eighth.
The Rangers became the first visiting team in Oakland Coliseum history to hit three homers in three consecutive games.
Nick Martinez got the win, working 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief after Derek Holland lasted only 3 2/3 innings and allowed five runs (four earned). Martinez joined the team from Triple A Round Rock on Tuesday and earned his first career win a as a reliever.
His biggest inning was the sixth, when he worked around a two-out single for a shutdown inning.
“Stay on the attack,” Martinez said. “Chirinos did a great job calling pitches. He did a great job guiding me in the right direction.”
Hitting: Sonny Gray appeared to be extending his successes against the Rangers, tossing five scoreless innings, but the Rangers got him for five runs in only 20-pitches in the sixth. ... Robinson Chirinos led off with a homer, and Shin-Soo Choo and Ian Desmond followed with doubles. The bases were empty two batters later after a Prince Fielder sacrifice fly, but Jurickson Profar singled and scored on Rougned Odor’s game-tying two-run homer off the top of the out-of-town scoreboard in left field. ... Chirinos gave the Rangers a 6-5 lead in the seventh with another solo homer for his second career two-homer game. ... Odor launched a second solo homer with two outs in the eighth for his first career two-homer game. ... He leads the team with 12 homers.
Pitching: Derek Holland didn’t make it out of the fourth inning, lifted after 3 2/3 innings and 92 pitches/56 strikes. He left having allowed three runs on four hits, but with two runners on. They would score as Billy Burns hit Nick Martinez’s first pitch for a double that was compounded by an error on center fielder Ian Desmond. ... Holland has had two consecutive starts allowing five runs after posting four straight quality starts. His ERA is 5.14. ... Martinez posted scoreless innings in the fifth and sixth before giving way to Matt Bush, who worked a 1-2-3 inning for the second straight night. ... Jake Diekman overpowered the A’s in a perfect eighth, and Sam Dyson worked the ninth for his 11th save.