Oakland, CA – A.J. Griffin tossed seven strong innings while Yoenis Cespedes and Brandon Moss hit back-to-back home runs to lead the Oakland Athletics in a 5-1 win over the Texas Rangers in the opener of a three-game set.
Griffin (4-3) scattered six hits, including a solo home run, while striking out eight without a walk for the Athletics, who had dropped six of seven coming in. John Jaso had two hits and drove in a run while Daric Barton scored twice in the win.
"Every day, every pitch, every game is important," said Griffin. "We just try to take things one game, one pitch at a time and just go after it and good things happen when you do that."
Mitch Moreland's home run accounted for the only offense for the Rangers, who had a four-game winning streak stopped. Justin Grimm (2-3) was tagged for all five runs over five-plus innings, giving up seven hits and walking two to drop his third straight start.
"Each game that he pitches and he may have lost he kept us in the game," said Texas manager Ron Washington about Grimm. "Tonight, we only scored one run. He's out there battling and fighting so I'm not concerned."
Moreland's solo home run in the second, his seventh of the season, staked the Rangers to a 1-0 lead, but it didn't last very long.
With one out in the bottom of the second, Josh Donaldson singled, but was then forced out at second on a Barton fielder's choice. After Derek Norris walked, Eric Sogard singled in Barton and Jaso followed with an RBI single for a 2-1 lead.
In the third, Cespedes and Moss went back-to-back with one out, both homers to center with Moss' the 7,000th home run in Athletics history.
Derek Norris' double in the sixth scored Barton, who was hit by a pitch to start the inning, for a 5-1 lead.
After Nelson Cruz was stranded on third in the fourth, Texas failed to get a runner past second base the rest of the way.
Cespedes left the game in the fifth inning with a stomach illness ... Oakland took 11 of 19 against Texas last season ... Oakland batted 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left six on base, while Texas went 0-for-3 with RISP and left three on base.