Oakland, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Donnie Murphy's go-ahead RBI single in the top of the eighth inning lifted the Texas Rangers to a 4-3 win over the Oakland Athletics in the opener of a three-game set.
Kevin Kouzmanoff smacked a leadoff double to right against Sean Doolittle (0-1) and advanced to third on Mitch Moreland's sacrifice bunt to begin the frame. Murphy then slapped a base hit up the middle to plate Kouzmanoff.
"I don't think too many times you'll see Doolittle give it up," Texas manager Ron Washington said.
Neal Cotts and Alexi Ogando combined to work a scoreless eighth. Cotts picked (1-1) up the final two outs in the seventh to get the win.
Jed Lowrie reached with one out in the ninth against Joakim Soria when Elvis Andrus threw the ball away on a routine play to shortstop. But Soria got Josh Donaldson to pop out to center and Yeonis Cespedes to fly out to left to notch his fourth save of the season.
Shin-Soo Choo belted a leadoff homer, while Prince Fielder and Kouzmanoff each tallied two hits an RBI and a run scored for Texas, which has won six of its last seven games.
Starter Yu Darvish struck out six and allowed three runs on eight hits and four walks over six innings in the no-decision.
Coco Crisp posted three hits, two RBI and a pair of steals for the A's, who had won seven of their last eight games coming in. Brandon Moss cracked a solo homer in defeat.
"Very competitive game, about as close as you can get," A's manager Bob Melvin said.
Choo's leadoff shot to right opened the scoring, but Oakland pushed across three runs in the second to go in front.
Moss began the frame by drilling a blast down the right field line. Josh Reddick worked a one-out walk and Eric Sogard doubled two batters later to put runners on second and third with two away. Crisp's base hit to left brought them home and made it 3-1.
Texas scored a run apiece in the fourth and fifth innings to tie it.
Fielder sliced a double off the base of the wall in the fourth and then scored on Kouzmanoff's single to center. Fielder's two-out RBI single in the fifth made it 3-3.
Texas was 3-for-10 with runners in scoring position, while Oakland finished 1- for-10 ... Oakland starter Dan Straily surrendered three runs on six hits and two walks over five innings.