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Texas (69-77)0100004005101
Oakland (72-76) «20202000x6100

Swisher, Cust deliver big early hits, Athletics hold off Rangers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Oakland Athletics wanted to do whatever they could to get Chad Gaudin back in the win column after a rough outing last time against Texas.

Nick Swisher hit a two-run homer, Jack Cust doubled in two runs and the A's withstood the Rangers' late rally for a 6-5 victory Thursday night.

Gaudin (11-11) struck out eight in six innings to end a three-start winless stretch in which he was 0-2. He left the game with a 6-1 lead.

"That was big for Chad to go out there and have a great start," Swisher said.

Cust gave the A's a 2-0 lead in the first. Swisher hit his 20th home run, a shot to left-center in the third inning, after Daric Barton's leadoff double. Jack Hannahan added an RBI double and Marco Scutaro had a sacrifice fly in the fifth to give Oakland -- which ended a three-game losing streak to Texas -- a 6-0 lead.

Michael Young had three hits, including a two-run double in the Rangers' four-run seventh that pulled them within 6-5 in the opener of a four-game series between the bottom two clubs in the AL West.

"No one wants to finish last," Swisher said.

Young's two-out single in the third extended his career-best hitting streak to 13 games -- the longest this year by a Ranger -- but Texas saw the end of its three-game winning streak in the season series. The Rangers swept a series in Texas last weekend.

"We were close, real close," Texas outfielder Marlon Byrd said. "We kept fighting, kept battling and have a chance to win this series. We're going to. We're coming out and going to win this series and finish up strong like we've been playing all year."

Gaudin, facing the Rangers for the second successive start, bounced back from allowing a season high-tying 10 hits Saturday in 3 2/3 innings -- which matched his shortest outing of the year. This time, he faced baserunners in every inning but was able to limit the damage after Jason Botts' leadoff single in the second.

"I felt positive toward the outing," he said. "I felt I was in control. I made some good pitches when I needed to and attacked the zone. I was not working under pressure, just laboring a little bit."

Frank Catalanotto hit a two-run single in the seventh off Santiago Casilla, who relieved Gaudin after he allowed two hits to start the inning.

Ruddy Lugo pitched two scoreless innings and Huston Street finished for his 15th save in 19 opportunities.

"Hey, if you want to be prime time, you want to be in the tight situations," Lugo said.

Kevin Millwood (9-12), still looking for his second successive 10-victory season, allowed six runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings four days after he left his start Sunday against the A's having allowed only four hits because of a second rain delay.

"I just didn't throw good pitches," he said.

Millwood is winless in his past three starts.

"They just jumped on him quick early," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "They got to him in the first, got to him in the third, got to him in the fifth. He got his pitch count up."

The A's improved to 72-76 and are determined to finish with a winning record for the ninth consecutive year. Only the New York Yankees (15) and Boston (10) have longer runs with above-.500 records.

The Rangers had scored 24 runs during their three-game winning streak against Oakland.

Notes

  • Gaudin has allowed 14 home runs over his past 11 starts.
  • Young is batting .556 (10-for-18) with a home run lifetime against Gaudin.
  • Slugger Sammy Sosa was slated to start Friday night for Texas.
  • Mark Ellis stole his ninth base in the third.
  • The Rangers activated 3B Travis Metcalf from the 15-day DL after he had been sidelined since Aug. 29 with a strained left hamstring. He entered on defense in the eighth.
  • David Murphy made the first of three scheduled starts in CF for the Rangers.
 
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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Jack Cust's two-run double in the first inning helps the Athletics build a 6-1 lead.  (AP)
Jack Cust's two-run double in the first inning helps the Athletics build a 6-1 lead. (AP)

Players of the Game
Oakland

N. Swisher
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Texas

M. Young
AB 5
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Texas Rangers
Frank Catalanotto, 1B4122001 .275
Ian Kinsler, 2B4100022 .270
Michael Young, SS5032011 .313
Marlon Byrd, RF-LF5000035 .307
Jason Botts, LF3111111 .237
    Nelson Cruz, RF0000000 .221
Hank Blalock, DH2020200 .299
David Murphy, CF4000005 .385
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C4110002 .261
Ramon Vazquez, 3B3110121 .240
    Freddy Guzman, PR00000001.000
    Travis Metcalf, 3B0000000 .242
Totals34510549  
Batting
2B - Michael Young (36, Casilla), Hank Blalock (14, Gaudin), Ramon Vazquez (12, Gaudin)
HR - Jason Botts (2, Gaudin)
RBI - Frank Catalanotto 2 (43), Michael Young 2 (76), Jason Botts (13)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
E - Jarrod Saltalamacchia (10, Throwing)
Texas Rangers
Kevin Millwood (L,9-12) 4.2866341 5.51
Bill White 1.1100310 2.25
John Rheinecker 1100010 5.36
C.J. Wilson 1000000 2.94
IBB - Ellis by Bill White
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Millwood 92-58, Bill White 36-14, John Rheinecker 16-9, C.J. Wilson 17-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Millwood 3-7, Bill White 1-2, John Rheinecker 1-1, C.J. Wilson 1-2
Batters Faced - Kevin Millwood 25, Bill White 8, John Rheinecker 4, C.J. Wilson 3
Oakland Athletics
Shannon Stewart, LF4010102 .290
Daric Barton, 1B5220002 .353
Nick Swisher, CF-RF4222102 .263
Jack Cust, RF3112200 .256
    Jeff DaVanon, CF0000000 .197
Mark Ellis, 2B3110102 .276
Dan Johnson, DH3000135 .231
Marco Scutaro, SS3011003 .264
Jack Hannahan, 3B4021000 .272
Rob Bowen, C4000033 .240
Totals33610666  
Batting
2B - Daric Barton (2, Millwood), Jack Cust (17, Millwood), Jack Hannahan (7, White)
HR - Nick Swisher (20, Millwood)
SF - Marco Scutaro (2)
RBI - Nick Swisher 2 (71), Jack Cust 2 (75), Marco Scutaro (41), Jack Hannahan (17)
2-OUT RBI - Jack Hannahan (9)
SB - Mark Ellis (9, 3rd base off Millwood/Saltalamacchia)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Barton-Scutaro, Ellis-Scutaro-Barton, Scutaro-Ellis-Barton
Oakland Athletics
Chad Gaudin (W,11-11) 6833281 4.47
Santiago Casilla0222000 4.30
Ruddy Lugo (H,1) 2000200 5.54
Huston Street (S,15) 1000010 3.00
HBP - Catalanotto (by Chad Gaudin), Kinsler (by Santiago Casilla)
Pitches-Strikes - Chad Gaudin 103-64, Santiago Casilla 12-7, Ruddy Lugo 38-23, Huston Street 12-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chad Gaudin 5-3, Ruddy Lugo 3-2, Huston Street 2-0
Batters Faced - Chad Gaudin 27, Santiago Casilla 3, Ruddy Lugo 7, Huston Street 3
Game Information
Attendance - 16240
Game Time - 3:13
Temperature - 67
Umpires - Home - Rick Reed, First Base - Tim Timmons, Second Base - Alfonso Marquez, Third Base - Chuck Meriwether