Needing a win to take the series and keep pace with the Astros, who pulled off a five run top of the ninth to avoid the sweep in Anaheim, Adrian Beltre delivered on Sunday as he uncorked two homeruns and five RBIs as the Rangers defeated the A’s 12-4. Chi Chi Gonzalez allowed just three runs on two hits in 5.1 innings in the spot start to improve to 3-5 on the season while Felix Doubront allowed seven runs on seven hits in 4.1 innings to take the loss and fall to 3-2 on the year.
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Shin-Soo Choo got the scoring started for the Rangers with a solo shot in the first inning, a 441 footer to deep center. Texas got back on the board in the fourth when Beltre hit his first long ball to left center, which brought Choo in as well to make it 3-0. The next inning Beltre launched a three run bomb to score Choo again as well as Chris Giminez to make it 6-0. Later in the fifth Elvis Andrus hit a two run single to plate Prince Fielder and Mike Napoli as the Rangers got out to an 8-0 lead.
In the top of the sixth, Danny Valencia got Oakland on the board with a two run triple, followed by an infield single to score Valencia. But in the bottom of the sixth, Choo singled to score Delino DeShields to make it 9-3 Texas.
Carson Blair hit a solo shot to bring the A’s within 9-4 in the top of the seventh. But in the eighth Rougned Odor hit the fourth Texas homerun of the game and fifth of the game overall as he launched a three run homerun into center to score Napoli and Andrus to make it 12-4.
Texas will start their biggest series of the year as they welcome the Astros in for a four game set starting tomorrow night. First pitch is at 7:05 PM ET as both teams send out midseason acquisitions to the mound. Cole Hamels gets the start for the Rangers and Scott Kazmir will go for the Astros. Hamels has had some struggles against the Astros over the course of his career–he has a 4-3 record in 10 appearances against them with a 4.90 ERA. On the flip side Kazmir has a 2.92 ERA in 22 starts against Texas with a record of 11-6. We’ll see if both those trends can be reversed Monday night.