Oakland, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Michael Choice capped a two-run ninth inning with an RBI single, lifting the Texas Rangers over the Oakland Athletics, 5-4, in the middle test of a three-game series.
Holding a 4-3 lead, the A's sent Luke Gregerson (0-1) to the mound in the top of the ninth. Pinch-hitter Mitch Moreland led off with a double to right and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt, but was tagged out at the plate on Leonys Martin's squeeze bunt. Martin stole second and raced home on Josh Wilson's double to left. Choice followed with an RBI single to center.
Joakim Soria retired the side in order in the bottom half of the ninth to pick up his fifth save of the season. Alexi Ogando (1-1) recorded the final out in the eighth to pick up the win.
"I think it speaks volumes about our team and what we have been able to do where we have done it a number of times now late in games," said Moreland. "We've had some really good wins and we play all 27 (outs)."
Texas starter Nick Martinez, who was recalled from Double-A Frisco prior to Tuesday's game, gave up four runs -- two earned -- on six hits with three walks over five innings. The right-hander made his second career start.
Tommy Milone allowed three runs on five hits with four walks over six innings for the A's, who have lost two straight games for the first time this season.
"You can look at what happened in the ninth inning and then you can look a little farther into the game," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "You know it's usually not what happens in the last inning, a lot of times it's what transpired during the middle innings and opportunities earlier."
The Rangers started things with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, a run scored on Donnie Murphy's infield single. Robinson Chirinos walked to force in another run.
The A's responded with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the frame. Jed Lowrie doubled and raced home on Josh Donaldson's single to center. Yoenis Cespedes' RBI double to left made it 2-2.
Texas took the lead back in the third. Alex Rios and Prince Fielder hit consecutive singles to put men on the corners. A run scored when Kevin Kouzmanoff grounded into a double play.
Oakland went in front with two runs in the fourth. John Jaso singled and Josh Reddick reached second on Wilson's fielding error. Eric Sogard's sacrifice fly and Coco Crisp's RBI double made it 4-3.
The A's rejected the Oakland-Alameda County Authority's 10-year lease proposal ... Kouzmanoff left the game in the fourth due to back tightness. Luis Sardinas entered the game at second base, with Wilson moving to third ... Rangers relief pitcher Pedro Figueroa left the game with an injury after hitting Reddick with a pitch in the eighth ... Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo sat out with a sprained left ankle ... To make room on the active roster for Martinez, the Rangers designated pitcher Hector Noesi for assignment.