Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
Led by Stephen Drew's four hits, The Oakland Athletics jumped out to a first-inning five-run lead over the Texas Rangers and never looked back.
The Oakland Athletics came into Wednesday night's game against the Texas Rangers trailing by four games in the AL West. The A's picked up a game with a 9-3 victory, keeping the heat on the Rangers over the final week of the regular season.
A's starter Jarrod Parker looked shaky early, needing 80 pitches to get through the first three innings. He ended up grinding it out for six, surrendering three runs on five hits while recording eight strikeouts. His opposite number, Rangers starter Martin Perez, suffered a much less noble fate.
The A's closed this contest quickly, pasting Perez for five runs in the first. Perez did not even survive the inning, as he was pulled after recording only two outs. The A's pounded six hits in the frame, including triples from Yoenis Cespedes and Derek Norris. The Rangers looked to make a game of it with a run in the first and two more in the second, but their pitching gave up three walks to load the bases for the A's in the third, with Stephen Drew singling home a pair of runs. The A's would tack on another in the fourth and one more in the ninth to make it 9-3.
The A's offense set the American League record for most strikeouts in a single season, though Josh Reddick ended an 0-30 skid with a pair of singles. The loss for the Rangers reduces their lead over the New York Yankees for best record in the AL to just one game.