ARLINGTON (AP) — The Oakland Athletics keep finding ways to win after their slow start. The Texas Rangers can’t stop losing — games and key players.
Jed Lowrie hit a tiebreaking double before Texas slugger Adrian Beltre left with a hamstring injury, and the A’s beat the Rangers 3-2 on Tuesday night, tagging Cole Hamels with his fourth loss before the end of April for the first time in the left-hander’s career.
Beltre strained his left hamstring coming out of the batter’s box in the eighth inning and limped to first base on what would have been a double but was instead a single for his 3,075th career hit.
The 39-year-old third baseman in his 21st season didn’t sound optimistic after the game but wanted to wait for an MRI on Wednesday before saying much else.
If Beltre ends up on the disabled list, the Rangers won’t have any of their opening day infielders in those spots for the finale of what is already a fifth straight series loss at home, the most to start a season since the franchise moved to Texas in 1972.
“We already have our key players hurt on the middle infield,” Beltre said. “We didn’t need another one. It’s no secret we’ve been struggling offensively. We’re trying to find a way to get through it.”
Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus is out at least another month after breaking his right elbow when he was hit by a pitch April 12. Second baseman Rougned Odor has been out since April 10 with a left hamstring strain.
When Andrus got hurt, Joey Gallo was shuffled to left field from first base, where rookie Ronald Guzman is starting now. Delino DeShields has returned to center field after a broken hand sidelined him for three weeks and weakened the Texas outfield significantly.
“It’s gut-wrenching, to say the least,” said manager Jeff Banister, whose Rangers (8-17) have matched their second-worst 25-game start and are 3-12 at home. “However, I’ll continue to say this: There is no timeout. We’ll continue to play.”
Lowrie’s seventh-inning liner over the glove of a diving DeShields came against reliever Matt Bush after two doubles off Hamels in an inning that included a pair of Oakland baserunners getting thrown out at third base.
Andrew Triggs (2-0) allowed one run in six innings with six strikeouts, and former closer Santiago Casilla pitched a scoreless ninth for his first save in Oakland’s eighth win in nine games since a 5-10 start.
“There’s no coincidence that we’ve been winning games when we’ve been getting starting pitching six innings or more,” manager Bob Melvin said.
Hamels (1-4) gave up two runs in 6 1/3 innings and hit three batters, matching the 2008 World Series MVP’s career high set on April 20, 2016, in a 2-1 win against Houston. Rangers reliever Jake Diekman also hit a batter.
Mark Canha broke a scoreless tie in the sixth with his third homer, a solo shot that went in and out of leaping right fielder Nomar Mazara’s glove just above the fence. Matt Olson hit an RBI double in the eighth.
Beltre’s liner to the gap when he was injured was a single that scored Shin-Soo Choo from first. Beltre had two hits and both Texas RBIs, the other coming on a sacrifice fly.
(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)