Athletics

A's allow five home runs, fall to Rangers to start two-game set

A's allow five home runs, fall to Rangers to start two-game set

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Adrian Beltre led off the eighth inning with a tiebreaking homer for the Texas Rangers, who went deep a season-high five times in a 7-4 win over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night.

Beltre made it 5-4 when he connected off reliever Lou Trivino (3-1), who then walked Jurickson Profar before Joey Gallopulled a two-run shot into the right-field seats. It was Gallo's 16th homer.

Shin-Soo Choo, Robinson Chirinos and Profar also homered for Texas.

Chris Martin (1-1) pitched a scoreless eighth for his first big league victory, and Keone Kela struck out the side in a perfect ninth for his 14th save - the most in the majors without a blown chance.

It was only the second home run of the season for Beltre, who missed 28 games during two stints on the disabled list because of a left hamstring strain and was playing only his fourth game since being activated. His first homer at home this season was 3,083th career hit, the most among active players.

Khris Davis had an RBI double and scored on Matt Olson's single in the first for Oakland. Davis hit a solo homer, his 14th, in the fifth for a 3-1 lead. Olson's second RBI single of the game made it 4-2 in the seventh.

Choo stretched his majors-best on-base streak to 21 games with a leadoff walk in the first. His game-tying two-run homer in the seventh gave him a 12-game hitting streak, matching Colorado's Charlie Blackmon for the longest active in the big leagues.

Chirinos homered on his 34th birthday.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Athletics: RHP Liam Hendricks (strained right groin) was activated from the 10-day DL, and RHP Daniel Gossett (right elbow strain) went on the DL after an MRI on Monday. ... OF Boog Powell, who has missed 52 games because of a strained right knee, has been in extended spring training. He could start working out with the A's this weekend, and then go on a rehab assignment.

Rangers: SS Elvis Andrus, who has missed 49 games with a broken right elbow and is eligible to come off the 60-day DL next Monday, took groundballs and made throws to first base. He is scheduled to take batting practice on the field soon. "He's progressing nicely, moving forward," manager Jeff Banister said. "Starting to see a little positive excitement that we can see a little light."

UP NEXT

Bartolo Colon (2-3), the 45-year-old Rangers right-hander, makes his fourth attempt at getting his 243rd career victory to match Hall of Fame pitcher Juan Marichal for the most by a player born in the Dominican Republic. Colon spent two seasons with Oakland, going 18-6 for the A's in 2013. Athletics right-hander Daniel Mengden (6-4) was 4-1 with a 1.51 ERA in six May starts.

A's notes: Khris Davis continues to own Astros ace Justin Verlander

A's notes: Khris Davis continues to own Astros ace Justin Verlander

OAKLAND — Justin Verlander has made a lot of good hitters look silly over the years. Khris Davis is not one of them.

The A's slugger belted two home runs off Verlander, followed by a single, improving to 6-for-11 with four home runs in his career against the former MVP.

This was Davis' 21st career multi-homer game, and his sixth this season, tied for third most in Oakland history behind Reggie Jackson (eight), Jose Canseco (seven), and Mark McGwire (seven). Davis also set a career high with his eighth three-hit game of the season.

--- Despite allowing four earned runs, Verlander earned his 200th career win. He joins Bartolo Colon and CC Sabathia as the only active pitchers with at least 200 wins and 2,500 strikeouts.

--- The five home runs allowed by the A's tied a season high. Oakland also gave up five home runs June 5 at Texas.

--- The nine runs allowed by the A's were their most in a game since July 24 at Texas, a 13-10 win in 10 innings.

--- Sean Manaea allowed six runs, tying his season high. He gave up nine hits, also tying a season high.

--- Matt Olson went 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to seven games, tying a career high.

--- Mark Canha is 0 for his last 11 at the plate. He is batting .125 (5-for-40) in the month of August.

--- Jonathan Lucroy snapped an 0-for-15 skid with a base hit in the seventh inning. He is batting .189 (7-for-37) in August.

What the A's proved after taking four of six from Astros and Mariners

What the A's proved after taking four of six from Astros and Mariners

OAKLAND — Take notice, Major League Baseball. The A's have declared themselves here to stay.

Despite Sunday's loss, Oakland finished off an impressive 4-2 week with series victories against both the Astros and Mariners, their top two competitors in the AL West.

Now with 38 games remaining, the A's sit at 74-50, just a game behind Houston for first place, and 3 1/2 games ahead of Seattle in the Wild Card race. It has become clear that Oakland will be in this division race until the very end.

“We've believed in ourselves since Spring Training, even when not a lot of people thought we should,” reliever Emilio Pagan said. “I think we made a statement coming out and taking the series against them, and Seattle, two really good teams. We feel good going forward.”

“Other teams know that we're good and we're a legit team,” added catcher Jonathan Lucroy. “They know that they have to have their best stuff to beat us.”

The A's have been the hottest team in baseball for more than two months now. Oakland is 40-14 in the last 54 games, a pretty significant sample size, signifying that this is not a fluke. The A's have proven they are one of the elite teams in the sport.

“I would definitely say we're very confident,” reliever Lou Trivino said. “Obviously it would have been nice to get the win here today, but as long as you can continue to win every series, that's really all you need to do. If we can continue to play like we're playing, we're definitely very confident.”

“I think it shows what kind of team we've got, the depth we've got, and how we play,” outfielder Nick Martini added.

The A's have also shown they can beat the league's other top teams. Oakland is 5-4 against the Red Sox and Yankees, who own the two best records in MLB. After losing eight in a row to the Astros, the A's have taken five of the last seven meetings.

“We're just a better team now,” said manager Bob Melvin. “Before, maybe we go out and hope to win those games against them, and now I think we go out and expect to win the games.”

And why shouldn't they? The A's have only lost one of their last 18 series. That type of consistency builds incredible confidence, even for a team lacking experience. This group knows they can compete with anyone in the league, even the defending World Series champions, and they won't settle for anything less than a division title.

It's now a 38-game sprint to the finish. Game on.