ARLINGTON, Texas – Michael Young scored his first three times up and light-hitting Taylor Teagarden hit a two-run home run, sending the Texas Rangers to a 7-4 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Thursday night.
The Rangers won the series against the A's and closed out a homestand against division rivals by going 5-2. They added 3½ games to their lead in the AL West and head back on the road 8½ games clear of the A's.
Texas opened the day by putting All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler on the disabled list, calling up rookie Mitch Moreland to perhaps become their left-handed hitting first baseman and then traded two pitching prospects to Florida for Jorge Cantu, who is likely to be their right-handed hitting first baseman.
Josh Hamilton moved from his usual spot behind Vladimir Guerrero into Kinsler's No. 3 spot in the lineup, and Nelson Cruz moved up to No. 5. The first two times through the lineup, the Nos. 2 through 5 hitters were 6 for 7 with a walk; the lone out was an RBI groundout by Guerrero.
The Rangers led 4-1 after squandering a bases-loaded, one-out chance to break things open against A's starter Vin Mazzaro (6-3) in the fifth. Texas starter C.J. Wilson (10-5) got into trouble in the sixth and Oakland was back within 4-3 when the bottom of the Rangers' lineup came through.
David Murphy led off with a 431-foot homer. Joaquin Arias beat out a grounder to short 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.
Moreland singled in his first big league at-bat and went 2 for 4, with a drive to the warning track in center among his outs. That performance could mean a demotion Friday for Chris Davis (.188 in 31 games) to make room for Cantu.
Cruz had an RBI single in the first, extending his career-best hitting streak to 17 games.
Kevin Kouzmanoff doubled twice and Matt Carson and Rajai Davis each had two hits. Davis was caught in a rundown to end the game.
Wilson won his third straight start, giving up three runs and seven hits over 5 2-3 innings. He struck out five, walked two and hit a batter.
Mazzaro 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.
NOTES: 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.