Beltre hits 2nd homer in 9th, rallies Rangers past A's 7-6
Texas Rangers first base coach Hector Ortiz, right, and fans cheer as Adrian Beltre (29) runs the bases after hitting a game winning two-run homer during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics in Arlington, Texas, Monday, July 25, 2016. The Rangers won 7-6. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Adrian Beltre got the fastball he wanted.
Beltre's second home run of the game was a two-run shot on the first pitch from Ryan Madson with two outs in the ninth inning, and it rallied the Texas Rangers past the Oakland Athletics 7-6 Monday night for their third straight win.
''He's a really good pitcher, really good changeup,'' Beltre said. ''I was hoping that he would throw me something over the plate that I could drive, and that's exactly what he did.''
Article continues below ...
Madson was feeling good after converting all four save opportunities since the All-Star break, while Oakland was winning seven of 10 games.
''A good fastball-hitting guy, sitting fastball,'' Madson said. ''Maybe I was being a little bullheaded, trying to beat him instead of putting it in a good place.
''The heater I had for the last whole week, I was confident in it. It just happened to end up middle-middle to a fastball-hitting guy.''
Madson had his sixth blown save in 27 opportunities.
Ian Desmond homered early for the Rangers. They increased their AL West lead for the first time since June 26, to 3 1/2 games over Houston.
Beltre, who finished with four hits, had two singles in his first three at-bats before hitting a solo homer in the seventh against John Axford.
''What superlatives do you want me to put on it?'' Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. ''You can use them all. You could see the determination on his face.
''He had two special at-bats tonight, none bigger than the last one.''
Texas had trailed since Danny Valencia hit a two-run homer for Oakland in the first. All 13 runs in the game were scored with two outs.
Texas turned three double plays behind starter Martin Perez, who has induced a major league-best 25 in 21 games.
After the third inning, Perez held Oakland scoreless for three innings.
''I think I was more aggressive in the last three innings. Expand the zone and throw the ball where I wanted,'' he said.
Valencia also had the first of three run-scoring doubles in a three-run third that gave the A's a 5-1 lead.
Nomar Mazara singled with one out in the ninth for Texas. Desmond hit his 19th homer in the first.
Jake Diekman (2-1) worked a scoreless inning for the win.
Billy Butler had three hits for the A's.
Rangers RHP Yu Darvish threw in the bullpen in preparation for Wednesday's scheduled start against Oakland, his third since coming off the disabled list for the second time this season.
Through a translator, he expressed interest in the trade deadline a week away. ''I'm always curious about who we're going to get and all that stuff. And also I wonder, where am I going?'' he said with a laugh.
MUNCY UP, HAHN DOWN
A day after Athletics RHP Jesse Hahn allowed one run in 7 2/3 innings against Tampa Bay, Oakland optioned him back to Triple-A Nashville. The Athletics also recalled OF/1B Max Muncy from Nashville, where he batted .251 with eight home runs and 26 RBIs in 64 games. Muncy ran for Butler in the eighth inning.
Athletics: No one went on the disabled list Monday, the 21st day this season that Oakland has had 12 or more players on the DL. A's players have missed a total of 966 games.
Rangers: GM Jon Daniels said he expects DH Prince Fielder to undergo season-ending surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck within a week. . Halfway through the minimum stay on the 60-day disabled list, RHP Colby Lewis (strained right lat muscle) threw from 75 feet. ''He's about where we though he would be at this point,'' Banister said.
Athletics: RHP Sonny Gray (4-9, 5.49 ERA) will start the second game of the series Tuesday.
Rangers: RHP Nick Martinez (1-2, 6.45), scratched from Monday's scheduled start at Triple-A Round Rock, will be recalled to start Tuesday's game.