ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Marcus Semien drove in four runs, Chris Bassitt struck out eight over six innings and the Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 10-1 on Saturday night to get a split in their doubleheader.
In the opener, the Rangers quickly roughed up an Oakland pitcher making his big league debut while one of their own rookies was getting ready to get his first victory as Texas won 5-2.
After Texas got all of its in the first game with a five-run first off Daulton Jefferies (0-1), the AL West-leading A’s had a seven-run second in Game 2 when their first seven batters reached base and scored.
Ramon Laureano had an RBI double before Sean Murphy’s two-run single as the first six batters reached off Kolby Allard (0-6). Taylor Hearn finally got out of the inning with his third strikeout, after walking two batters with the bases loaded.
Marcus Semien, whose RBI single chased Allard, added a three-run homer in the fifth. His sixth homer of the season made it 10-0.
Bassitt (4-2) scattered eight hits, the only run he allowed coming on Joey Gallo’s ninth homer, a solo shot in the sixth.
The teams played a doubleheader to make up for the game postponed Aug. 27 in Texas when the A’s decided not to play the finale of a scheduled four-game series to support calls for racial justice.
Texas left-hander Wes Benjamin (1-0) was warming up in the bullpen preparing to enter in the second inning of the first game as planned behind an opener when Rougned Odor and Ronald Guzman homered for a 5-0 lead.
“I would be lying to you if I said I wasn’t thinking about it,” Benjamin said. “But at the same time, I try not to look at the scoreboard.”
Nick Goody retired the first three batters as the opener, then Benjamin went four innings in his fifth big league game — all in relief — with four strikeouts and one walk. Rafael Montero worked a perfect seventh for his eighth save in as many tries this season, his first since Sept. 1.
Both Rangers homers came with two outs in the first, with Odor lining a three-run shot down the right field line just a few rows beyond the wall. Elvis Andrus then had a single before Guzman’s impressive 431-foot blast much deeper into the right felt seats.
A’s manager Bob Melvin said Jeffries “was probably a little amped up. The homers were changeups, probably a little higher velocity than he normally throws.”
Jefferies (0-1), a 25-year-old right-hander who had never pitched above the Double-A level, was called up to be the 29th player for the A’s in the doubleheader. He threw 53 pitches over two innings before Jordan Weems pitched three no-hit innings with five strikeouts.
In between games, shortstop Andrus was put on the injured list with a back strain for the second time this year. Manager Chris Woodward said Andrus was probably done for the season.
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