Cust, A's blast fading Rangers
The Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers have gotten to know each other better this month - as in seven meetings in 11 days.
Last-place Oakland won five of those games and put a big damper on Texas' wild-card hopes in the process.
Jack Cust homered to help rookie Brett Anderson win his fourth straight start, Cliff Pennington hit a two-run triple and the A's salvaged a split of their four-game series against the Rangers with a 12-3 rout Thursday.
Eric Patterson drove in three runs, Adam Kennedy doubled twice among his three hits and Rajai Davis had an RBI triple in a balanced offensive attack for Oakland, which sent the Rangers to just their second loss in their last seven road games.
The A's swept a three-game series at Texas from Sept. 14-16.
"It's nice to have guys up and down the lineup swinging the bat well," A's manager Bob Geren said. "There are a lot of guys in our lineup now who can run. It's fun, an exciting group. We're utilizing every different which way."
Anderson (11-10), who has struggled for run support much of the year, allowed three runs, one earned, and six hits in 5 2-3 innings. He improved to 8-3 over his last 16 starts.
It had to be nice to receive all that offense for a change.
"We're getting guys on base and we're getting hits when we need to," Patterson said. "Usually when you're winning games, it's because you're doing things like that."
Anderson's strikeout of Craig Gentry to start the third was his 142nd, moving him past Rick Langford for most by a rookie in Oakland history. Langford struck out 141 in 1977.
"It's pretty special considering some of the great guys who have made their debuts in this uniform," Anderson said.
Anderson also leads major league rookies in Ks. He received a standing ovation when he was replaced by Brad Ziegler with two runners on in the sixth.
David Murphy and Chris Davis each singled in a run for the Rangers, who couldn't do enough to back Scott Feldman on a day when the right-hander didn't have his best stuff.
"They're playing good baseball. We thought we had a chance to take three out of the four," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "Coming in that was the worst I felt we had to do."
The Rangers, who had won three of five following a five-game skid, were trying to earn consecutive wins for the first time since they won three straight from Sept. 8-9 at Cleveland, which included a doubleheader sweep.
"I really give a lot of credit to the A's and what they've had to do as far as the injuries and the way their hitters battle," Rangers catcher Taylor Teagarden said. "They're not necessarily going to beat you with the long ball but they get guys on base and they seem to get those runs in somehow."
Feldman (17-6) lost to Oakland for the second time in three starts. His home defeat to the A's - a 9-0 loss - on Sept. 14 ended his career-best seven-game winning streak.
On Thursday, he got through a 1-2-3 first on 11 pitches but didn't have another clean inning. He was done after 3 1-3 innings, leaving after Cust's solo homer.
Feldman also matched his career high with five walks - three of those coming in Oakland's four-run third.
"I just stunk today, pretty much to sum it up," Feldman said.
The A's committed two errors that led to an unearned run for the Rangers in the first.
Anderson didn't walk a batter for the fifth time. ... Davis matched his career-best hitting streak at 12 with the fourth-inning triple, his fifth of the year. ... Anderson and Texas C Taylor Teagarden were Olympic teammates last year, earning a bronze medal for the U.S. team in the Beijing Games. ... Much of the A's top brass traveled to Phoenix for the funeral of Cheryl Polakowski, wife of longtime director of minor league operations, Ted Polakowski. She died Saturday at age 47 of pancreatic cancer. Cheryl Polakowski worked for the A's at their Papago Park minor league complex.