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Oakland at Texas

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Oakland (23-16) «40000221312131
Texas (18-21)1121010006112

Harden struggles in return, but A's bats pick him up vs. Rangers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Emil Brown and the Oakland Athletics used an aggressive approach to jump-start their offense.

Brown hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs to help the Athletics beat Texas 12-6, ending the Rangers' season-best five-game winning streak Sunday.

"I'm not a walk guy," Brown said. "I'm just ready to hack."

Frank Thomas drove in two runs to give him 1,695 RBI, tying him with Cal Ripken for 21st all-time, and Mark Ellis had three hits for the A's.

The A's pulled off two double-steals, hit early in the count and took advantage of eight walks and two errors to lift an offense that had scored three runs or less in seven of their previous 11 games.

Ian Kinsler had three hits for the Rangers, who had won nine of their previous 11.

With the game tied at 6, Bobby Crosby led off the seventh with a double, then stopped at third on Ellis' single. Rangers reliever Franklyn German's pickoff attempt had Ellis in a rundown between first and second, but when Crosby broke for the plate, Rangers first baseman Frank Catalanotto threw late to catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia as Crosby scored to put the A's in front.

"We got a little lucky," A's manager Bob Geren said. "They got us and we got away with it."

Rangers manager Ron Washington said his team worked on defending the double steal in spring training, "but we didn't execute. They beat us in execution."

Ryan Sweeney added a sacrifice fly later in the seventh to extend Oakland's lead to 8-6, and Brown's RBI single in the eighth made it 9-6.

Daric Barton added a two-run homer in the ninth for Oakland.

German (1-1) gave up two runs and three hits in 2/3 inning to pick up the loss.

Santiago Casilla (2-0) allowed two hits in 1 1/3 innings for the victory.

Rangers starter Sidney Ponson allowed six runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, his worst outing of the four starts since his contract was purchased from Triple-A Oklahoma on April 26.

The A's activated Rich Harden from the 15-day disabled list to make his first start since April 2, but he couldn't hold a four-run first-inning lead. Harden was placed on the 15-day disabled list April 10 with a strained right shoulder.

In the first, Thomas' RBI single and Brown's fourth homer of the season gave the A's a 4-0 advantage.

Ponson tried to throw a sinker down and away to Brown but left the pitch over the plate.

"I didn't have any command of any pitch today," Ponson said. "It's one of those days where you know you don't have anything, you just try to mix your pitches and they hit the ball on the ground. But they didn't do that at all today. It was a souvenir. He did what he's supposed to do."

Saltalamacchia's two-run single in a four-run third tied it for the Rangers, who took a 5-4 edge in the fourth on Josh Hamilton's RBI triple.

Harden allowed five runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings.

"First time out, I'm somewhat happy," said Harden, who's been on the disabled list six times in the last four years. "Obviously I didn't get that many innings in and gave up some runs, but I wasn't disappointed. The second and third innings went by so quick, I didn't get much of a rest."

Ponson walked Jack Cust with the bases loaded in the sixth as the A's tied it at 5, and Thomas followed with a sacrifice fly off German to give Oakland the lead.

Notes

  • To open a roster spot for Harden, OF Chris Denorfia went on the 15-day DL because of tightness in his lower back.
  • Texas placed RHP and No. 1 starter Kevin Millwood on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained right groin. RHP Doug Mathis was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma to take Millwood's roster spot. Mathis, awaiting his major league debut, will begin in the bullpen but is a candidate to get a spot start on May 20, the next time there's an opening in the Texas rotation.
  • Texas also outrighted RHP Kazuo Fukumori, currently with Oklahoma, off the 40-man roster.
  • All of the Rangers and a few of the A's used pink bats in honor of Mother's Day and to promote breast cancer awareness. The teams combined to go 12-for-47 with the pink bats.
  • The Rangers are 0-18 when trailing after seven innings.
  • Ellis left the game in the ninth for a pinch runner after sustaining a minor hamstring strain. He's listed as day-to-day.
  • A's 3B Eric Chavez will begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Sacramento on Thursday. Chavez is on the 60-day DL after offseason back surgery.
 
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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Rich Harden is just happy being back on the mound after another stint on the disabled list.  (AP)
Rich Harden is just happy being back on the mound after another stint on the disabled list. (AP)

Players of the Game
Oakland

E. Brown
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 4
Texas

I. Kinsler
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Oakland Athletics
Kurt Suzuki, C5000104 .255
Mike Sweeney, 1B4120002 .322
    Daric Barton, 1B1112000 .237
Jack Cust, LF2111300 .263
    Rajai Davis, PR-CF1100000 .190
Frank Thomas, DH4112005 .216
Emil Brown, RF-LF5124002 .283
Bobby Crosby, SS5110011 .252
Mark Ellis, 2B5130010 .242
    Donnie Murphy, PR-2B0100000 .205
Jack Hannahan, 3B3220201 .244
Ryan Sweeney, CF-RF2101201 .262
Totals3712131082  
Batting
2B - Jack Cust (5, Ponson), Bobby Crosby (12, German), Mark Ellis 2 (8, Ponson, Guardado)
HR - Daric Barton (2, Guardado), Emil Brown (4, Ponson)
SF - Frank Thomas (1), Ryan Sweeney (3)
RBI - Daric Barton 2 (15), Jack Cust (12), Frank Thomas 2 (21), Emil Brown 4 (33), Ryan Sweeney (16)
2-OUT RBI - Daric Barton 2 (6), Emil Brown (9)
SB - Emil Brown (2, 2nd base off Wright/Saltalamacchia), Bobby Crosby (1, off German/Saltalamacchia), Mark Ellis (5, 2nd base off German/Saltalamacchia), Donnie Murphy (2, off Guardado/Saltalamacchia), Jack Hannahan (1, 2nd base off Guardado/Saltalamacchia)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Emil Brown 1
E - Mark Ellis (2, Missed catch of throw)
Oakland Athletics
Rich Harden 3.2855450 3.68
Joey Devine 1.2110020 0.60
Santiago Casilla (BS,1; W,2-0) 1.1200010 0.47
Alan Embree (H,8) 1.1000120 2.60
Huston Street 1000020 3.86
WP - Rich Harden (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Rich Harden 90-59, Joey Devine 29-19, Santiago Casilla 23-15, Alan Embree 22-12, Huston Street 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joey Devine 3-0, Alan Embree 1-1, Huston Street 1-0
Batters Faced - Rich Harden 22, Joey Devine 6, Santiago Casilla 6, Alan Embree 5, Huston Street 3
Texas Rangers
Ian Kinsler, 2B5231010 .306
Michael Young, SS5011013 .293
Josh Hamilton, RF5121011 .303
Milton Bradley, DH4011111 .311
David Murphy, CF5110043 .257
Brandon Boggs, LF4100120 .326
Frank Catalanotto, 1B3010110 .260
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C2112210 .207
Ramon Vazquez, 3B3010000 .310
   a- German Duran, PH-3B1000002 .190
Totals376116512  
a-grounded out for Vazquez in the 7th
Batting
2B - Ian Kinsler (10, Harden), Josh Hamilton (13, Harden), Milton Bradley (11, Harden)
3B - Josh Hamilton (2, Harden)
RBI - Ian Kinsler (18), Michael Young (17), Josh Hamilton (39), Milton Bradley (20), Jarrod Saltalamacchia 2 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Ian Kinsler (7), Josh Hamilton (17), Milton Bradley (8), Jarrod Saltalamacchia 2 (2)
SB - Ian Kinsler (9, 3rd base off Casilla/Suzuki)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Vazquez-Kinsler-Catalanotto, Young-Kinsler-Catalanotto
E - Jarrod Saltalamacchia (1, Throwing), Ramon Vazquez (3, Misplayed grounder)
Texas Rangers
Sidney Ponson 5.1766511 3.16
Franklyn German (L,1-1) 0.2322000 1.62
Jamey Wright 2111110 3.57
Eddie Guardado 1233201 6.14
HBP - Sweeney (by Sidney Ponson)
WP - Sidney Ponson (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Sidney Ponson 103-59, Franklyn German 25-14, Jamey Wright 20-12, Eddie Guardado 29-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Sidney Ponson 5-11, Jamey Wright 3-1, Eddie Guardado 2-0
Batters Faced - Sidney Ponson 30, Franklyn German 5, Jamey Wright 7, Eddie Guardado 6
Game Information
Attendance - 23959
Game Time - 3:26
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Mike Everitt, First Base - Tim McClelland, Second Base - Mike DiMuro, Third Base - Larry Vanover