Oakland, CA – Behind six-plus strong innings from Alexi Ogando and a three-run homer by Nelson Cruz, the Texas Rangers earned their first series win in Oakland in nearly two years following Wednesday's 6-2 decision over the Athletics at the Coliseum.
Ogando (4-2) did not surrender a hit until Eric Sogard's leadoff double in the bottom of the sixth and held the A's to two runs on four hits to help the Rangers take two of three matchups in Oakland for the first time since Sept. 20-21, 2011.
"As usual, we're still trying to get him to understand that his fastball is his best pitch," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of Ogando. "He developed a changeup. He's always had a slider, he's got a little curveball now. One thing we don't want him to do is fall in love with that because the fastball, for him, is still his best pitch. He's learning and he's doing a good job of it."
He received plenty of support from Cruz and Lance Berkman, who finished 2- for-4 with a two-run single in Texas' sixth victory in its last seven games overall.
Oakland, on the other hand, has now dropped eight of 10 after getting a shaky effort from starting pitcher Dan Straily (1-2). The young right-hander was reached for five runs -- four earned -- while issuing four walks and lasting just 4 1/3 innings.
The Athletics also managed just five hits on offense. Coco Crisp, activated from the 15-day disabled list prior to the game, and Derek Norris knocked in the team's only runs.
While Ogando was dominant early on, Straily had his fate sealed with a rough third inning in which the Rangers had four straight hitters reach base while scoring a pair of two-out runs.
Straily hit consecutive batters following a base hit by Leonys Martin to load the sacks for Berkman, whose flare into right-center field enabled two men to cross with the first runs of the game.
Texas later broke things open in the fifth, with Elvis Andrus reaching on an error by A's shortstop Jed Lowrie and Berkman drawing a walk in front of Adrian Beltre's single up the middle that made the score 3-0 and ended Straily's afternoon.
Cruz then socked reliever Jesse Chavez's first pitch over the wall in left center to give the Rangers a comfortable six-run margin.
"I just needed to come in and keep the team close, and I didn't do my job," Chavez said.
Ogando permitted only two baserunners -- a second-inning walk to Josh Donaldson and a pitch that hit John Jaso in the right shin during the fourth -- until Sogard led off the bottom of the sixth with a drive off the base of the wall that spoiled the no-hit bid. After advancing a base on a Crisp groundout, he crossed the plate with Oakland's initial run on Norris' sacrifice fly.
Donaldson chased Ogando with a single to begin the bottom of the seventh, and the A's later loaded the bases against reliever Michael Kirkman before Crisp lofted a fly ball to left that cut the lead to 6-2.
Kirkman and Tanner Scheppers did not give up a hit while closing out the final two innings.
Jaso eventually left the game in the top of the fifth inning as a result of being hit, with Norris the replacement ... Crisp, who had been sidelined with a strained left hamstring since April 29, finished 0-for-3 ... Beltre's single extended his hit streak to seven games, during which he's gone 13-31 (.419) with three homers and eight RBI ... Texas first baseman Mitch Moreland had a seven-game hitting streak snapped after going 0-for-3.