Davis connects again for 38th home run, A’s blank Rangers

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Khris Davis homered for the second straight night to move him two away from a third straight 40-homer season, backing Brett Anderson‘s gem as the Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 6-0 on Tuesday night.

Davis hit a two-run shot in the seventh for No. 38 of 2018, his fourth home run in three games and ninth in 15.

Anderson (3-3) struck out six and walked one over seven impressive innings. He earned his first victory in five starts since beating the Rangers on July 23, coming off three straight no-decisions.

He didn’t allow a hit until Shin-Soo Choo‘s leadoff double in the fourth – the only hit the lefty surrendered – but the Rangers couldn’t capitalize. A’s relievers Jeurys Familia and Lou Trivino each pitched an inning to finish the two-hitter in 2 hours, 26 minutes, Oakland’s second straight shutout and 12th in all.

Davis, Jed Lowrie and Nick Martini each hit RBI singles among their two hits for the A’s, while Josh Phegley drove in a run on a groundout. Stephen Piscotty had a pair of singles.

Lowrie put Oakland on the board with his first-inning single.

These upstart, surprising young A’s won for the eighth time in 10 games and are showing no signs of letting the Astros out of their sights as September nears. A 9-0 win Monday night moved the A’s into a first-place tie with reigning World Series champion Houston atop the AL West.

Rangers rookie right-hander Ariel Jurado (2-3) gave up four runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings in his sixth career start and is winless in his last three outings.

Adrian Beltre returned to the Rangers’ lineup at designated hitter and went 0 for 3 after missing two games nursing a tender left hamstring that he re-injured last Monday against the Diamondbacks.

Texas, shut out for the eighth time, has managed only five total hits in the first two games of the series.

Oakland is 13-4 in August and 21-8 since the All-Star break.

SPECIAL JERSEY

A day after Davis had 10-year-old Anthony Slocumb sign his jersey and then hit a monster home run, the A’s slugger gifted the jersey to the Oakland sixth-grader while also deciding to auction another uniform to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation – the group Slocumb attended with Monday.

“It was such a perfect day/night,” Slocumb’s mother, Natalie Sanchez, said in an email. “We are so humbled and grateful for everything. Anthony is gleaming with excitement still.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: LHP Mike Minor, scratched from his scheduled start last Friday against the Angels with back stiffness and now set to pitch Wednesday afternoon’s series finale, isn’t expected to have lingering issues over the long haul with his back, according to manager Jeff Banister.

Athletics: OF Matt Joyce, sidelined by a strained lower back, went 0 for 3 playing left field while beginning a rehab appearance for Triple-A Nashville. Manager Bob Melvin said he would then be off for a day then play designated hitter. The hope is Joyce would be available to rejoin the A’s around Sept. 1 as the minor league season nears the end.

UP NEXT

Minor (9-6, 4.61 ERA) is riding a three-start winning streak for his longest such stretch since Sept. 16, 2012, to April 10, ’13, with Atlanta. The A’s counter with righty Edwin Jackson (4-2, 2.58) is 3-0 with a 0.74 ERA over his last four starts – his longest winning streak since June 30-July 11, 2013, when he also won three straight decisions.