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Davis triples in two to send A's over Rangers

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)

Rajai Davis has been the Athletics' top hitter since the All-Star break. He came through for Oakland again with a pinch-hit two-run triple in the ninth inning to rally the A's past the Rangers 3-2 on Monday night. "I was just trying to look over the plate, not trying to do too much and make contact on what was really a good pitch," Davis said. "Things do have a way of working out, and tonight things worked out for the best." Davis is hitting .336 (37-for-110) over his past 43 games and has 16 RBIs since the All-Star Break. "As soon as the ball hit the ground, I had a feeling all the guys would make it home," Davis said. "We had speedy guys on the bases, so in my opinion they were going to send them all the way. When I saw the ball kicking around out there, I thought, Well, they want to give me three. I'll take it. I wanted that triple." C.J. Wilson (4-5) blew his third save in 16 chances after allowing singles to Jack Cust, Tommy Everidge and Mark Ellis, before Davis' triple. Mike Wuertz (6-1) pitched 1 1-3 innings to win the game. Marlon Byrd drove in a run and Hank Blalock scored the game's first run on a double play for the Rangers. "Our pitchers dominated," Rangers' Josh Hamilton said. "But it doesn't matter how much you're dominating. It comes down to one pitch, one swing to change the outcome of the game." A's starter Brett Anderson gave up six hits over 7 2-3 innings with eight strikeouts and three walks. "The biggest thing for me tonight was getting out of that inning with one run," Anderson said. "It's been our biggest downfall, having those big innings. It's been big for my confidence giving the team a chance to win every time. That's what I want to be known as, the type of guy who keeps their team in the game." Dustin Nippert, who started in place of the injured Kevin Millwood, gave up a hit in five innings. He walked two and struck out five. "We had the right people in the game to end it right there," Rangers' manager Ron Washington said. "But they pulled it off. We brought in our closer and they beat him." Neftali Feliz, one of the Rangers' top pitching prospects, made an impressive major league debut by striking out the side in the top of the sixth in relief of Nippert. He retired all six hitters he faced. "He threw hard," A's Adam Kennedy said, one of the four who struck out against Feliz, who, according to Elias, became the first pitcher to strike out as many as four at the start of his career since Dodgers' Pete Richert struck out the first six Cincinnati Reds he faced on April 12, 1962. Wilson entered the game with one out in the ninth. After giving up Cust's infield single, he struck out pinch hitter Nomar Garciaparra before giving up three consecutive hits, culminating in Davis' triple. Right fielder Nelson Cruz came up limping after the final play and was helped off the field by a trainer. Kurt Suzuki singled and Scott Hairston walked with one out in the first but Rangers pitchers combined to retire 22 of the next 23 hitters before Cliff Pennington singled with two outs in the eighth against Frank Francisco. Blalock and Hamilton singled around a walk to Andruw Jones opening the fifth. Anderson induced Jarrod Saltamacchia to ground into a double play, with Blalock scoring. Byrd singled home a run in the seventh.

Notes

Rangers INF Michael Young singled in the fourth to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, the 18th time in his career he has hit safely in at least 10 in a row. ... The Rangers opened a stretch in which they play 25 of the next 36 games on the road. ... The Rangers moved Feliz from the rotation to the bullpen in Triple-A to prepare him for his debut. ... The A's won for the third time in 53 games when trailing after the eighth inning.
Tagged: Athletics, Rangers

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