Oakland, CA – A.J. Pierzynski drove in three runs as the Texas Rangers opened a big series against the Oakland Athletics with an 8-3 win.
The win for the Rangers, their fifth in a row, has closed their gap with Oakland for first place in the AL West to 2 1/2 games.
Nelson Cruz and Jurickson Profar each hit a two-run home run for the Rangers, who got two hits, an RBI and a run scored from Adrian Beltre.
Alexi Ogando lasted just four innings in the start as he gave up three runs on four hits and five walks. Jason Frasor (2-2) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings to get the win.
Brandon Moss had two hits and two RBI and Coco Crisp drove in a run for the Athletics, who have lost their past three games. Tommy Milone (9-9) gave up six runs on nine hits in just 3 2/3 innings to take the loss.
Moss' two-run double in the first staked the A's to an early 2-0 lead, but Texas scored six times over the next three innings.
In the second, Beltre singled to start the frame and Cruz hit his 26th home run of the season two batter later to tie the contest.
Texas went on top for good in the third thanks to a run-scoring groundout from Beltre and an RBI single by Pierzynski for a 4-2 lead.
Craig Gentry doubled with one out in the fourth and Profar followed with his fourth homer of the season, a blast to left, to make it a 6-2 game.
Oakland got one back in the bottom of the fourth thanks to an RBI double by Crisp, but the team left the bases loaded in the fifth as Alberto Callaspo flied out to end the frame.
A two-run single from Pierzynski in the seventh gave the Rangers an 8-3 lead, and Oakland failed to close the gap over the three final innings.
Texas has taken seven of 11 from Oakland this season ... Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus extended his hitting streak to 15 games thanks to a 2-for-5 game. It is the longest current streak in the majors ... Oakland went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left 10 on base.