Rangers Snag Series from Oakland - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Rangers Snag Series from Oakland



    Rangers Snag Series from Oakland
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    David Murphy #7 poses for a portrait during the Texas rangers Photo Day at Surprise on March 2, 2010 in Surprise, Arizona.

    Even after a little juggling within the core of their lineup, the Texas Rangers were hardly surprised to see those guys string together hits and drive in runs.

    The surprises came from the rest of the lineup.

    David Murphy hit a 431-foot home run, Taylor Teagardan hit his first homer of the season and Mitch Moreland had two hits in his major league debut, helping the Rangers beat the Oakland Athletics 7-3 on Thursday night.

    "It's great to see everybody contribute," Murphy said.

    The win capped a 5-2 homestand against division rivals. The Rangers stretched their lead in the AL West by 3½ games during that stretch and head back on the road 8½ games ahead of the A's.

    Starter C.J. Wilson (10-5) wasn't feeling well and didn't look very sharp, laboring through 5 2-3 innings. He gave up an early run, but went back out for the second inning leading 2-1 behind the new-look lineup.

    With usual No. 3 hitter Ian Kinsler going on the disabled list, Josh Hamilton moved up to his spot from No. 5 and Nelson Cruz moved up a notch from No. 6. The first time through the order, Michael Young singled and Hamilton moved him to third with a double. Vladimir Guerrero drove in Young with a groundout, then Cruz drove in Hamilton with a single.

    Young finished 4 for 4, scoring his first three times up. Hamilton went 3 for 4, scoring once.

    Oakland was within 4-3 when the rest of the Texas lineup came through in the sixth.

    Murphy homered, then Joaquin Arias -- who replaced Kinsler at second base -- beat out a grounder to shortstop for a single, then scored on Teagarden's homer.

    Teagarden started the season in the majors but was sent down because of his poor hitting. He came up Saturday after Matt Treanor was hurt and was 1 for 29 the entire season when he put the ball into the seats in right-center field.

    "It was a fastball and I got some wood on it," Teagarden said. "The situation there, to tack on a few more runs felt great."

    Moreland singled in his first at-bat and went 2 for 4, with a drive to the warning track in center among his outs. His girlfriend and parents were in the stands to watch.

    "They all had big smiles on their face," he said. "Of course, I know I did, too."

    Moreland's family also got to see him get the pie-in-the-face treatment after the game.

    "It's the best-tasting shaving cream I've ever had," he said.

    Moreland was called up Thursday to take the roster spot opened by Kinsler's groin injury. Texas then traded two pitching prospects to Florida for Jorge Cantu, who is likely to be their right-handed hitting first baseman.

    Moreland is going to keep the left-handed part of the platoon. Manager Ron Washington said after the game that Chris Davis (.188 in 31 games) was being sent down to make room for Cantu.

    Oakland was on a 9-2 roll before dropping two of three this series. Starter Vin Mazzaro (6-3) had won four straight, but had one of his worst starts of the year, giving up seven runs and 12 hits over 5 1-3 innings. He struck out three and walked one.

    "My slider wasn't biting as much as it has in the past," Mazzaro said. "I left a few up and they had some pretty good swings."

    Kevin Kouzmanoff doubled twice for Oakland, and Matt Carson and Rajai Davis each had two hits. Davis was caught in a rundown to end the game.

    Wilson giving up three runs and seven hits. He struck out five, walked two and hit a batter, but still won his third straight start.

    "We have so many All-Stars we can put out there, so as a pitcher all you try to do is hold the other team down until our offense breaks out," he said. "We know we're going to put a big, ugly number up there."

    NOTES: Cruz had an RBI single in the first, extending his career-best hitting streak to 17 games. ... The Rangers will alter their rotation for the weekend road series against the Angels, moving RHP Tommy Hunter up a day to Friday. RHP Scott Feldman, who had been scheduled for Friday, has been tentatively moved to Saturday. The Rangers also could shift Feldman to the bullpen and activate RHP Rich Harden from the 15-day DL for Saturday's start. Harden, who's been out since June 12 with a strained left gluteal muscle, pitched six shutout innings in a minor league rehab start on Monday. ... The A's will be without their closer, RHP Andrew Bailey, for a while longer. Bailey was unavailable for the series against Texas with back spasms, and manager Bob Geren said Bailey "felt it a little bit" during a throwing session Thursday.