Davis, Olson homer as A’s beat Rangers 8-6 to stay hot
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Khris Davis hit his major league-leading 41st home run, Matt Olson homered to drive in the go-ahead run and the Oakland Athletics defeated the Texas Rangers 8-6 on Saturday for their fifth win in six games.
Davis hit a two-run homer in the first. He has 10 homers against the Rangers this year, matching his total against Texas in 2016.
Olson broke a 6-6 tie against Chris Martin (1-4) leading off the eighth. Olson has a career-high 25 homers, one more than last year. He entered in the seventh on what was scheduled to be a day off, and he is the only A’s player to appear in all 143 games.
Chad Pinder also homered and Matt Chapman added an RBI double in the eighth. The A’s, a big league-best 31-15 since the All-Star break, began the day a season-high 6½ games ahead of Seattle for the AL’s second wild card.
Oakland (86-57) is 29 games over .500 for the first time since ending 2013 at 96-66. The A’s have won eight of their last nine games against the Rangers.
Ryan Butcher (4-0) struck out Joey Gallo, his only batter, and Blake Treinen fanned two in a perfect ninth for his 37th save in 41 chances.
Adrian Beltre homered twice for the Rangers, who lost for the ninth time in 12 games. At 61-81, the Rangers matched their season high of 20 games under .500; they were 42-62 after a loss to the A’s on July 26.
Oakland starter Edwin Jackson allowed four runs and five hits in a season-low three innings.
Davis’s homer was the only hit in four innings off 23-year-old left-hander Yohander Mendez, who was coming off his first big league win last weekend against Minnesota.
Texas led 4-2 before Jed Lowrie’s two-run double in the fifth. Pinder homered against Martin Perez for a 5-4 lead in the sixth, and Stephen Piscotty hit a run-scoring double off Eddie Butler in the seventh.
Beltre’s two-run homer tied the score in the eighth against Fernando Rodney. Jurickson Profar homered earlier for Texas.
Oakland is a major league-best 62-0 when leading after seven innings and is 77-0 when leading after seven going back to Sept. 2 last year.
Ramon Laureano crashed into the center field wall making an inning-ending running catch that robbed Beltre of extra bases and an RBI with Nomar Mazara at second base in the third. The 23-year-old rookie slid in the fifth to cut off Rougned Odor‘s double to the gap, preventing Shin-Soo Choo from scoring from first.
September call-up Adrian Sampson is to start Tuesday at the Los Angeles Angels. The 26-year-old right-hander pitched one-third of an inning on Friday in his first appearance in the majors since June 18, 2016, for Seattle against Boston. Sampson will take the turn of 45-year-old Bartolo Colon, who moves to the bullpen.
The A’s plan to activate OF Nick Martini and RHP Ryan Dull on Sunday. RHP Frankie Montas is expected to be activated before Oakland opens a six-game trip that starts Tuesday in Baltimore.
Athletics: LHP Brett Anderson threw 45 pitches in a simulated game on Saturday. The team will evaluate his condition on Sunday, manager Bob Melvin said. Anderson could be activated for the team’s upcoming road trip.
Rangers LHP Jeffrey Springs (0-0, 2.29 ERA) will open for RHP Ariel Jurado (2-4, 6.00) in the series finale. RHP Trevor Cahill (6-3, 3.60) is 11-4 with a 3.07 ERA in 19 career appearances against Texas including 10 wins with the A’s, the second most against the Rangers in Oakland history.
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