Oakland, CA – Adrian Beltre and Mitch Moreland each crushed solo home runs in the 10th inning and Joe Nathan survived a shaky bottom half to help the Texas Rangers down the Oakland Athletics, 6-5, in the middle test of a three-game series between the AL West rivals.
Beltre got the green light on a 3-0 count and narrowly cleared the fence in left-center, and Moreland came up two batters later and launched his second of the game -- a blast to straightaway center for his ninth home run of the season and sixth already this month.
"You gotta throw a strike there and good call on their side...3-0 swing and Beltre hits a homer," A's manager Bob Melvin said of the pitch to Beltre. "Then Moreland comes, who's been swinging the bat pretty well, hits another one."
After giving up an RBI single to Seth Smith, Nathan struck out Daric Barton and grounded out pinch-hitter Eric Sogard to leave the bases loaded and pick up his 12th save of the season.
Moreland had a two-run homer earlier in the game, Beltre had three hits and Nelson Cruz drove in two runs for the Rangers, who have won five of their last six and ended a five-game losing streak at Oakland Coliseum.
"Not thinking about how many games we lost here, we're only thinking about the one we played tonight to try to win," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of his team's struggles in Oakland. "You can't worry about that type of stuff. We're a good ball club, they're a good ball club and tonight we won."
Smith finished with three hits and scored twice, Josh Donaldson went 4-for-5 and Nate Freiman added two hits, a run scored and an RBI to highlight the Athletics' offense.
Chris Resop (1-1) served up both homers in the 10th to take the loss, Oakland's seventh in its last nine games. It was the first setback suffered by the Athletics' bullpen this year.
The Rangers jumped ahead with three runs in the fourth inning off starter Bartolo Colon. Elvis Andrus opened the frame with a base hit, moved to third on Beltre's double and scored on Cruz's sacrifice fly. Colon then grooved a letter-high fastball to Moreland that was redirected over the wall in right- center for a 3-0 Rangers lead.
Texas' Derek Holland was on cruise control before giving up two singles and a walk to open the fifth. The lefty appeared to limit the damage by getting Adam Rosales to ground into a run-scoring double play, but Jed Lowrie followed with an RBI double.
Yoenis Cespedes just missed a home run down the left-field line before grounding out to end the inning, then misplayed Lance Berkman's line drive off the center-field wall into a triple with one out in the sixth.
Colon, though, got Beltre to ground to short, and Rosales threw out Berkman at the plate to keep the A's within 3-2.
Donaldson led off the bottom half with his second double of the game and 14th of the season. A groundout moved Donaldson to third, and Luke Montz's fly ball to center was deep enough to score the tying run despite Leonys Martin's strong throw home.
Oakland wasn't done, as Smith ended Holland's night with a base hit and scored all the way from first when Freiman greeted Robbie Ross with a double to left field.
Sean Doolittle struck out Ian Kinsler to strand runners on the corners in the seventh, but the Rangers pushed a run across against Ryan Cook an inning later. Just as they did in the third inning, Andrus led off with a single, took third on Beltre's hit through the left side and scored on Cruz's sac fly.
Colon, who had given up 14 runs over his previous three starts, allowed three runs on four hits and a walk in six innings of work ... Holland was charged with four runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 frames ... Melvin was ejected in the eighth inning by umpire D.J. Reyburn for arguing a close play at first base ... Nathan picked up career save No. 310, tying him with Goose Gossage for 19th place on MLB's all-time list ... Oakland fell to 3-1 in extra inning games, while Texas improved to 1-1.