Rangers Give Up One Too Many in Extra Innings

Game 2 of three-game series is at 7:05 Wednesday

By STEPHEN HAWKINS
|  Wednesday, May 12, 2010  |  Updated 8:45 AM CDT
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Rangers Give Up One Too Many in Extra Innings

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ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 11: Catcher Landon Powell #35 of the Oakland Athletics makes the out against Andres Blanco #3 of the Texas Rangers in the 12th inning on May 11, 2010 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Landon Powell;Andres Blanco

Daric Barton had nothing to show for his first five at-bats despite some solid swings for the Oakland Athletics. He surely came through in extra innings.

Barton hit a two-out RBI single in the 13th inning after homering in the 11th, and the A's beat the Texas Rangers 7-6 on Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game series between the AL West's top teams.

"I squared a bunch of balls up, just hit them at people," Barton said. "Fortunately in the 11th, (the pitcher) left one over the plate and I took advantage of it. Again in the 13th, it was a 3-2 changeup, I was out in front but got the barrel of the bat on it. Overall, I was happy with my day."

Catcher Landon Powell drew a walk against Dustin Nippert (1-3) to start the Oakland 13th, then swiped second for his first career steal. He scored when Barton's hard grounder short-hopped off second baseman Ian Kinsler's glove and into right field.

"It was one of those games where whoever came out on top was going to feel pretty good and the other team's going to think about it for a while," manager Bob Geren said. "We've seem to have a ton of games like that against Texas, especially in this ballpark."

Oakland won for the fifth time in six games, ending Texas' four-game winning streak and matching the Rangers for the division lead at 18-15.

Barton was 0 for 5 before his two-out solo homer. But Texas tied it in the bottom half of the 11th when David Murphy hit a leadoff single and scored on Julio Borbon's base hit.

Tyson Ross (1-0), the sixth Oakland reliever, pitched the final three innings. He even batted, striking out to end the 12th because the A's had lost their designated hitter in a flurry of substitutions in the ninth.

"Hitting, that was terrible, maybe first time since high school," Ross said. "We got the win and that's all that matters. Everyone did something to contribute. I was throwing pretty good out there and was going to keep pitching."

The A's were back on the field for the first time since Dallas Braden's perfect game on Sunday. There were plenty of mistakes in this one, especially with the closers for both teams blowing leads in the ninth.

Rangers pinch-runner Andres Blanco was cut down at the plate for the final out of the 12th. Blanco tried to score from first when Kinsler's single took an awkward bounce away from right fielder Ryan Sweeney. But his throw to second baseman Adam Rosales and the double-clutch relay to Powell was still in plenty of time.

"Both teams fought hard, it was tough to come out on the losing end of this one," Murphy said.

Eric Chavez hit his first homer for Oakland in nearly two years, a two-run shot in the fifth that tied it at 2. Chavez also singled and scored in the seventh, and helped the A's rally in the ninth.

Chavez reached on shortstop Elvis Andrus' error leading off the ninth and was replaced by Gabe Gross.

Rangers rookie Neftali Feliz entered with Gross on third, one out and a 4-3 lead. Feliz had retired 17 of his previous 18 batters, but he hit Jake Fox before giving up three consecutive singles. Powell's single tied it and Cliff Pennington put Oakland in the lead.

The A's then turned to Andrew Bailey, who had converted 27 consecutive save chances and had a career-best scoreless streak of 21 2-3 innings since last September.

But the right-hander issued a four-pitch walk to rookie Justin Smoak. Pinch-runner Craig Gentry then came in, moving up on a sacrifice and a comebacker to the mound before scoring on a single by Andrus.

Chavez had put the A's up 3-2 when he led off the seventh with a single and scored on Eric Patterson's triple that clipped off right fielder Murphy's glove and rolled to the warning track.

Chavez's homer was his first since June 17, 2008, though that was only a stretch of 42 games for the six-time Gold Glove-winning third baseman who is now primarily a designated hitter. Chavez has been limited to only 58 games -- 27 this season -- while having surgery five times (two back and three shoulder) since September 2007.

Texas regained the lead on Josh Hamilton's two-run homer, a long drive to right-center in the eighth.

Michael Young had an RBI single for Texas in the third and Murphy hit a solo homer an inning later.

NOTES: Rangers starter Colby Lewis retired the first 12 batters before Kevin Kouzmanoff singled leading off the fifth and Chavez followed with his homer that barely cleared the wall in center. ... Lewis, who pitched seven innings, struck out five, matching Tampa Bay's James Shields for the AL lead with 49. ... Bailey hadn't allowed a run in his first 12 games this season, the 11 2-3 innings the most among relievers without allowing a run. ... The only longer homerless streak for Chavez was 44 games -- the first 44 games of his career.

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