ARLINGTON (AP) — All by himself, Ian Kinsler showed why the Texas Rangers can be so dangerous.
Kinsler got four hits, scored three runs and stole two bases Thursday night, sending the AL West leaders past the Oakland Athletics 7-6 for their 11th win in 13 games.
Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre and David Murphy each drove in two runs for Texas in a game that lasted 3 hours, 54 minutes, the Rangers’ longest nine-inning game of the season.
“We can generate runs in a lot of different ways,” Kinsler said. “Lately we’ve been hitting the ball into the gap and driving the ball out of the ballpark. Tonight we really didn’t have that but we were able to generate runs in another way, stealing bases and taking the extra base whenever we could, and we were able to push a bunch of runs across.”
Texas tied a season high with four steals. The Rangers, who are third in the American League in home runs (98), had only two extra-base hits and walked six times.
Kinsler got things started with a leadoff double in the first inning.
“Some people call it small ball. I call it winning baseball,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “That’s just doing what the game asks you to do. We’re starting to get back to that. We’re starting to get free on the basepaths, running, and doing some things. It’s winning baseball. That’s what we’re doing.”
Scott Feldman (2-6), who gave up eight earned runs in 1 2-3 innings when he last faced Oakland on June 4, won despite allowing nine hits in five innings.
Feldman had lost four straight decisions against the A’s.
“I was telling myself bend but don’t break,” Feldman said. “I had already given up the four runs, so I had to try to limit the damage and keep them there and get our guys back in there swinging the bats.”
Joe Nathan earned his 18th save of the year.
Tyson Ross (2-8) was tagged for five runs and eight hits in four innings.
“Their lineup, one through nine, it’s one of the best in the big leagues, if not the best. And any time you put guys on base and give them a free pass, you’re just asking for trouble,” Oakland catcher Derek Norris said. “Unfortunately, we gave up a few too many walks tonight and they capitalized on it.”
Josh Reddick hit his 18th home run for Oakland. Norris and Cliff Pennington, the eighth- and ninth-place hitters in the A’s lineup, connected for consecutive homers in the third.
The Rangers drew four walks and hit three singles during a four-run fifth that put them ahead 6-4.
Leonys Martin drew a leadoff walk and scored on a single by Elvis Andrus. Reliever Jim Miller walked Josh Hamilton to load the bases, then walked Adrian Beltre to make it 4-all. With two outs, David Murphy hit a two-run single.
In the sixth, Andrus walked, stole second and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Beltre for a 7-4 lead.
Oakland came back in the seventh with an RBI single by Yoenis Cespedes and a sacrifice fly by Seth Smith. Cespedes finished with three hits and drove in two runs.
Norris’ homer was his second in the majors. Pennington was 2 for 28 before he homered.