Davis homers in jersey signed by fan, A’s top Rangers 9-0

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Khris Davis hit a long home run after letting a young fan from the Make-A-Wish Foundation sign his jersey, Ramon Laureano hit the first two homers of his career, and the Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 9-0 on Monday night.

Davis’ shot for his 37th homer of the year was estimated at 438 feet and clanked off a window in the suite-level in left-center field. He did it wearing a uniform signed by 10-year-old Anthony Slocumb. The Oakland sixth-grader attended the game with a group from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Davis asked him to sign his jersey before the game.

Laureano connected in the second and again in the sixth with a three-run shot that chased Bartolo Colon (7-11), the 45-year-old Rangers starter scratched a day earlier against the Angels because of back stiffness.

Stephen Piscotty homered in the seventh for Oakland.

Marcus Semien added an RBI double to back Mike Fiers (9-6) as Oakland began the day one game back of the Astros. The A’s took two of three during a weekend series against the reigning World Series champions to stay right on Houston’s heels in the AL West race.

Fiers allowed one hit, struck out eight and walked one over seven innings in his third start for the A’s, who have won the last five against the Rangers.

Colon was trying to win his third straight start after losing five in a row. He allowed seven runs and 10 hits in five innings facing his former club. Colon pitched in 2012-13 for the A’s, serving a 50-game suspension in ’12 after testing positive for testosterone.

Colon also pitched at the Coliseum in his Rangers debut on April 2.

Texas began a weeklong stay in the Bay Area with an interleague series set for this weekend against the Giants at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

Both teams squandered early chances, with the A’s having first and second with one out in the first and the Rangers first and second in the second with none out.

THE WEST RACE

The A’s are 7-3 during a current stretch playing 12 straight games and 19 of 23 vs. AL West opponents.

BELTRE FUTURE

Rangers star Adrian Beltre won’t decide until after the season, his 21st in the big leagues and the last year of a contract with Texas, what’s next.

He said he will evaluate how he is playing and whether he still believes he can perform at his best and compete with the young players.

“Everything on the baseball field, everything with my family, everything with how I feel mentally is going to be part of it,” Beltre said. “But I’m not going to make a decision until the season is over. Bring it all together and be at peace with which way I’m going to go. I might answer those questions, but I might not be truthful because I don’t know myself.

NO LETDOWNS

Sure, the A’s had just faced division contenders Seattle and Houston in consecutive series at home.

Manager Bob Melvin wasn’t about to let his club treat the Rangers any differently.

“If we relax against this team, we’re going to get it handed to us,” Melvin said. “You look up and down their lineup, they’ve been as good as any American League team in the second half. It is a potent offense, so we’re going to have to play really well to beat these guys. Not much pressure on them, either.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: 3B/DH Beltre had a second straight game off as he nurses a tender left hamstring that he re-injured last Monday against the Diamondbacks. He is expected to play the next two days and likely to share designated hitter duties for now with Shin-Soo Choo. “Just another 24 hours helps him,” manager Jeff Banister said of Beltre, who was available off the bench. The Rangers hadn’t considered a disabled list stint for the 39-year-old Beltre.

UP NEXT

Rookie right-hander Ariel Juarado (2-2, 6.41 ERA) makes his sixth career start in the middle game of the series looking for his first win in three outings, while the A’s counter with Brett Anderson (2-3, 3.90). The lefty has three straight no-decisions and seeks for his first victory in five starts since beating the Rangers on July 23.