Arlington – The third place Texas Rangers began Tuesday night game two games behind the first place Anaheim Angels and one game behind their opponent, the Oakland Athletics. Not since April 2010, had the Rangers been in third place in the American League West.
With a strong pitching performance by Colby Lewis and a resurgent offense created by a new batting order the Rangers upended the A’s 7-2 Tuesday at Rangers Ballpark on night after the A’s took a 7-2 win against Ranger ace C.J. Wilson.
Lewis turned in his fourth straight solid start as the Rangers defeated the Athletics in a game that was delayed nearly an hour for rain.
For three innings, Athletics left-hander Brett Anderson and Lewis dueled to a 0-0 tie.
In the bottom of the fourth, with the bases loaded and one out, Mike Napoli, hitting eighth in a revamped line from Rangers manager Ron Washington, took a walk to force in the Rangers first run.
Then nine hole hitter Craig Gentry found the six hole in the infield, located between the shortstop and third base, for his first RBI of the season, knocking in Mitch Moreland for a 2-0 Rangers lead.
Texas continued to score in the bottom of the fifth inning as the four hole hitter, Michael Young, doubled down the right field line to set the table for Adrian Beltre. Beltre, hitting sixth behind Moreland, drove Anderson out of the game when he hit his first home run of May to put Texas up 4-0.
While Texas was scoring, Lewis was dealing. After five innings of work, the A’s had recorded two hits.
With one out in the top of the sixth inning, Cliff Pennington hit a Lewis fastball into the lower home run porch for Oakland’s first run of the game.
David DeJesus walked just as rain began to pour at the Ballpark. The game was stopped for 59 minutes before Lewis would come back out to the mound.
Lewis gave up a single after the delay then got the second out on a fly ball and ended the inning on a pop up one hour after it started.
Texas added three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning with a Young triple that cleared the bases and gave Texas a 7-1 lead.
Lewis, in workmanlike fashion, came back out to retire three straight Athletics in the seventh inning and did not leave until one out and one on in the eighth inning. The right-hander did not strike out an Athletic, walked one, and yielded five hits en route to his third win of the year.
Darren Oliver retired two outs in the eighth inning and Neftali Feliz walked two before closing out the game with a ground out to Elvis Andrus.
Young was 3-for-4 from the No. 4 spot in the batting order in his first appearance there in his 10-year major league career. He was a home run short of the cycle while driving in two runs and improving his season average to .349.
Texas had 11 hits in the game with every player but Andrus getting at least one hit. Young, Napoli and Beltre drove in two runs each.
Oakland and Texas enter the 1:05 game today in Arlington even on the year with 19-18 records. Both teams trail Anaheim in the American League West by two games.