OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) –– Nelson Cruz hit a three-run homer, Alexi Ogando earned his first career win against Oakland and the Texas Rangers took the rubber game with the Athletics 6-2 on Wednesday.
Ogando (4-2) didn’t allow a hit until Eric Sogard’s leadoff double in the sixth. The right-hander won his second straight decision and earned only his second victory in seven outings since consecutive wins starting the season.
Cruz greeted reliever Jesse Chavez in the fifth with a first-pitch drive to left for his 10th homer, highlighting the Rangers’ four-run inning.
Lance Berkman hit a two-run single and Adrian Beltre added an RBI single a day after hitting a 10th-inning home run. Elvis Andrus stole his ninth and 10th bases as the Rangers won their first series in Oakland since Sept. 20-22, 2011.
Derek Norris hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth for Oakland’s first run. Coco Crisp, fresh off the disabled list, added one of his own in the seventh.
Last Oct. 3, Ogando entered in relief of the Rangers’ 12-5 loss in Game No. 162 and was tagged for four runs in the eighth inning as the A’s rallied to grab the AL West crown away from the Rangers.
Now, with the AL West-leading Rangers on a nice roll in mid-May, Ogando’s first road win in his last six outings gave Texas some momentum heading home for a key four-game series with the Tigers starting Thursday.
The right-hander allowed two runs on four hits in six innings in his majors-leading seventh road start, his second ever against the A’s and first in the Coliseum.
Cruz’s home run gave the Rangers 14 in their last six games — including three Tuesday night, two of them by Moreland.
The Rangers wrapped up a 6-3 trip, and these clubs meet again for three games beginning Monday in Arlington. Texas played its majors-high 25th road game, but begins a four-game series against AL champion Detroit on Thursday night.
After losing the series opener 5-1, first-place Texas snapped a five-game losing streak in Oakland with a 6-5 win in 10 innings Tuesday night on the way to a third winning series in the last four.
The A’s loaded the bases with one out against Rangers reliever Michael Kirkman in the seventh, but got only Crisp’s sacrifice fly.
Oakland starter Dan Straily (1-2) had his problems, too.
He plunked Ian Kinsler and Andrus back to back to load the bases with two outs in the third, then Berkman’s single up the middle gave the Rangers the lead.
Straily avoided further damage in the fourth. After consecutive one-out walks to Mitch Moreland and David Murphy, and a wild pitch that advanced them both, Straily got a pair of flyball outs to escape unscathed. He walked four and struck out two in 4 1-3 innings of his second straight losing start and fourth consecutive winless outing.
Crisp returned from a strained left hamstring and went 0 for 3 in his usual leadoff spot and playing center field.
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