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Oakland at Texas

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Oakland000012002590
Texas «1030100016112

Blalock bails out Cordero with game-winning single

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Hank Blalock bailed out teammate Francisco Cordero after another blown save.

Blalock's RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth gave the Rangers a 6-5 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night.

Blalock, who also had a two-run homer, made a winner of Cordero (3-2), who allowed Oakland to tie the game with two runs in the top of the ninth.

It was Cordero's fourth blown save in seven opportunities this season.

"He's still one of the game's premier closers and we can't wait to give him the ball next time," Blalock said. "That's how we do it, as a team. If one guy has a bad day, we've got 24 other guys to pick him up.

"It's really exciting to see things like that, your teammates coming together. It was a big win for us."

Mark Teixeira doubled with two outs in the Texas ninth off Chad Gaudin (0-1). Phil Nevin walked and Blalock's single up the middle scored Teixeira.

Blalock was mobbed by celebrating teammates after the Rangers won for the fifth time in six games and ninth in 12.

The A's have lost 10 of 14.

Cordero allowed a leadoff single to Mark Kotsay in the ninth and walked Nick Swisher. After both runners moved up on a groundout, Kotsay scored from third on Frank Thomas' groundout. Dan Johnson's two-out double drove in Swisher with the tying run.

The Rangers' bullpen is 3-for-9 in save opportunities, and manager Buck Showalter is concerned.

"We are going to need to get it straightened out if we are going to get where we want to go this season," Showalter said. "If it's not something we can figure out, then we will have to come up with a solution."

Johnson game-tying double came on the pitch after he stepped out of the batter's box to collect himself after taking a 96 mph fastball from Cordero.

"I wanted to relax and focus on one pitch," Johnson said. "It was a fastball in and I put the right swing on it."

Blalock and Kevin Mench hit back-to-back homers in the third inning.

Blalock's two-run shot off the right field foul pole -- his fifth -- gave Texas a 3-0 lead. Mench followed with his fifth of the season, becoming the fourth player in Rangers history to homer in five straight games.

Nevin added a solo homer in the fifth off starter Barry Zito. Nevin's seventh homer of the season, and third hit of the game, extended Texas' lead to 5-1.

Rangers starter Vicente Padilla allowed three runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out three and walked four.

In his previous start against Oakland on April 15, Padilla became the first pitcher in major league history to allow homers on three consecutive pitches when Eric Chavez, Thomas and Milton Bradley all went deep in the sixth inning of the A's 5-4 victory.

Zito gave up five runs and six hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked four, leaving with his team behind, 5-3.

"I got out of some (jams) but I left a couple of pitches up and that can cost you the game," Zito said. "I'm frustrated with (my) up-down approach in April."

The Rangers loaded the bases with two outs in the first. Zito hit Mench on the arm with an inside pitch to force in the game's first run, then struck out Brad Wilkerson.

The Athletics made it 4-1 in the fifth on consecutive doubles by Jay Payton and Kotsay. They made it 5-3 in the sixth on a run-scoring single by Jason Kendall and a fielding error by second baseman D'Angelo Jimenez.

Notes

  • Oakland has a team batting average of .225, last in the majors.
  • The temperature was an unseasonably cool 62 degrees when the game got under way.
  • Zito threw 30 pitches in the first inning.
  • Carl Everett, Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez are the only other Rangers to homer in five straight games. Everett and Rodriguez accomplished the feat in 2003, Teixeira in 2004.
  • Bradley left the game in the middle of the fourth after jamming his right knee when he slid back to first on a pickoff attempt. Bradley is day-to-day with a slightly sprained knee.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Mark Teixeira slides in for the winning run on Hank Blalock's two-out RBI single.  (Getty Images)
Mark Teixeira slides in for the winning run on Hank Blalock's two-out RBI single. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Oakland

M. Kotsay
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
Texas

H. Blalock
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Oakland Athletics
Mark Kotsay, CF5131002 .284
Nick Swisher, 1B-LF2110200 .338
Eric Chavez, 3B5000004 .286
Frank Thomas, DH4001101 .162
Milton Bradley, RF0000200 .246
    Dan Johnson, 1B3121001 .118
Bobby Crosby, SS5000035 .204
Mark Ellis, 2B4110001 .188
Jason Kendall, C4011004 .226
Jay Payton, LF-RF4110011 .176
Totals365945419 
Batting
2B - Mark Kotsay (3, Padilla), Dan Johnson (1, Cordero), Jay Payton (2, Padilla)
RBI - Mark Kotsay (6), Frank Thomas (10), Dan Johnson (2), Jason Kendall (5)
2-OUT RBI - Dan Johnson (1), Jason Kendall (1)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Ellis-Crosby-Johnson
Oakland Athletics
Barry Zito 6655453 5.93
Brad Halsey 0.2100010 1.86
Kirk Saarloos 1.1200110 5.84
Chad Gaudin (L,0-1) 0.2211110 13.50
HBP - Mench (by Barry Zito)
Pitches-Strikes - Barry Zito 112-66, Brad Halsey 12-6, Kirk Saarloos 24-14, Chad Gaudin 20-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Barry Zito 5-6, Brad Halsey 1-0, Kirk Saarloos 1-1, Chad Gaudin 1-0
Batters Faced - Barry Zito 27, Brad Halsey 3, Kirk Saarloos 6, Chad Gaudin 5
Texas Rangers
Gary Matthews Jr., CF3000210 .235
Michael Young, SS4120101 .371
Mark Teixeira, 1B5110033 .277
Phil Nevin, DH4231111 .295
Hank Blalock, 3B4133100 .350
Kevin Mench, RF3112001 .333
Brad Wilkerson, LF3000123 .195
Rod Barajas, C4010000 .167
D'Angelo Jimenez, 2B4000011 .200
Totals3461166810 
Batting
2B - Mark Teixeira (7, Gaudin), Phil Nevin (5, Zito)
HR - Phil Nevin (7, Zito), Hank Blalock (5, Zito), Kevin Mench (5, Zito)
RBI - Phil Nevin (20), Hank Blalock 3 (16), Kevin Mench 2 (16)
2-OUT RBI - Hank Blalock 3 (8), Kevin Mench 2 (4)
CS - Gary Matthews Jr. (1, 2nd base by Zito/Kendall), Michael Young (1, 2nd base by Zito/Kendall)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Jimenez-Young-Teixeira, Young-Jimenez-Teixeira
E - D'Angelo Jimenez (2, Misplayed grounder), Michael Young (3, Misplayed grounder)
Texas Rangers
Vicente Padilla 5.2632430 3.64
Joaquin Benoit (H,3) 0.1000000 4.22
Antonio Alfonseca (H,6) 1100000 1.69
Akinori Otsuka (H,7) 1000010 2.70
Francisco Cordero (BS,4; W,3-2) 1222100 12.00
HBP - Swisher (by Vicente Padilla)
WP - Francisco Cordero (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Vicente Padilla 101-59, Joaquin Benoit 6-5, Antonio Alfonseca 16-10, Akinori Otsuka 9-8, Francisco Cordero 32-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Vicente Padilla 8-5, Joaquin Benoit 1-0, Antonio Alfonseca 2-1, Akinori Otsuka 3-0, Francisco Cordero 3-0
Batters Faced - Vicente Padilla 27, Joaquin Benoit 1, Antonio Alfonseca 4, Akinori Otsuka 4, Francisco Cordero 6
Game Information
Attendance - 25492
Game Time - 3:00
Temperature - 62
Umpires - Home - Rick Reed, First Base - Tim Tschida, Second Base - Ted Barrett, Third Base - Laz Diaz