Big 1st inning leads A's past Rangers
Oakland, CA – Matt Garza shut the Oakland Athletics down a month ago while with the Chicago Cubs.
It was a different outcome for the red-hot Texas Rangers' newcomer on Saturday.
Yoenis Cespedes smacked a two-run homer as part of a three-run first inning against Garza en route to a 4-2 A's triumph over the Rangers in the middle test of a three-game set.
Jarrod Parker (7-6) fanned six and surrendered just two runs on six hits and two walks over six innings for Oakland, which snapped a three-game slide.
Grant Balfour struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth to notch his 29th save of the season.
Garza (1-1) had a minuscule 1.40 ERA over his last eight starts coming in, but allowed four runs on eight hits and a walk in an eight-inning complete game for the Rangers, who had their five-game winning streak snapped.
"He was good," Rangers' manager Ron Washington said of Garza. "He gave up three runs and gave us a complete game."
The fireballer Garza tossed eight innings of one-run ball in a 3-1 Cubs victory over Oakland on July 3.
Coco Crisp had a bunt single to lead off the home first and advanced to second on Eric Sogard's sacrifice bunt before scoring on Jed Lowrie's single to left. Cespedes came up next and cracked a two-run shot over the wall in left-center for Oakland's 3-0 spread.
"Sometimes you want to score before a starting pitcher gets comfortable," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "You try to get something off a good pitcher early to create a little havoc."
Adrian Beltre's two-out RBI single in the third and Ian Kinsler's one-out solo shot down the left-field line in the fifth trimmed the deficit to 3-2, but Oakland tacked on a run in the seventh.
Alberto Callaspo began the inning with a walk and he scampered to second on Stephen Vogt's sacrifice bunt. After Crisp's base hit put runners on the corners, Callaspo charged home on Sogard's squeeze bunt to make it 4-2.
The Rangers' offense went down in order over the final two innings.
Oakland was 2-for-5 with runners in scoring position, while Texas finished 1- for-8 with RISP ... Cespedes' homer was his 17th of the season ... Parker moved to 5-1 in his career against Texas.