Oakland at Texas

Scoreboard
Oakland (29-27)0000301004110
Texas (29-28) «12003002x8140

Hamilton drives in three to help Rangers move over .500

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers had to make up a big deficit to finally achieve a winning record. Now the Rangers hope to build on that accomplishment after a strong May.

Josh Hamilton homered and drove in three runs and the Texas Rangers moved above .500 with an 8-4 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Saturday night.

The Rangers (29-28) have won 22 of 34 games since starting the season 7-16, and crawled over the break-even mark for the first time since they were 5-4.

"We came out of spring training knowing we can play," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "It just took us a while to put it together. None of us is thinking about just being a game over .500. We want to get further than that."

The Rangers were able to dig out of their early hole by going 19-10 in May -- the first time the team has won 19 games in a month since June 1983.

Hamilton was a big part of the May success, hitting eight homers with 29 RBI in the month. The slugger pushed his RBI total to a major league-leading 61 with a two-run homer in the fifth.

"It's very significant," Hamilton said. "I had a little different attitude going into the game. I was ready to get over .500. When we got to .500, it was like we were 0-0. Now we're 1-0."

Michael Young, Ian Kinsler and Frank Catalanotto each added three hits for the Rangers, who battered Joe Blanton and the A's for 14 hits.

Texas starter Sidney Ponson (4-1) allowed four runs and nine hits in seven innings. He threw 101 pitches, 70 of which were strikes.

"Ponson pounded the strike zone," said Oakland designated hitter Jack Cust. "He was just hitting his spots and keeping guys off balance."

Eric Chavez had three hits, and Travis Buck and Jack Hannahan each drove in two runs for the A's, who equaled a season high with their fourth straight loss.

Blanton (3-7) allowed a season-high six runs in six innings, giving up 10 hits and a walk.

The A's, who have lost six of eight to the Rangers, dropped to 6-11 against AL West foes.

"It seems like we're kind of flat when we play (Texas)," Cust said. "I don't know why that it is."

Oakland scored three runs in the fifth to tie the game at 3 before Texas took the lead for good in the bottom of the inning.

Kinsler led off with a double, and Young brought him home with a base hit for a 4-3 lead. Moments later, Hamilton lined a 1-0 pitch from Blanton into the Texas bullpen in right field for his 14th home run to stretch the advantage to 6-3.

Hamilton also supplied the Rangers' first run with a groundout that brought home Young, whose one-out triple in the first inning extended his hitting streak to 16 games.

"I'm happy the RBIs are still going," Hamilton said. "The guys ahead of me are getting on base and I feel comfortable in those situations."

In the second, Gerald Laird and Catalanotto hit one-out singles before Brandon Boggs made it 2-0 with a run-scoring single. Kinsler extended his hitting streak to 15 games with an RBI single that made it 3-0.

"Texas has been playing well," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "They had a great month."

Ponson allowed only one hit through four innings before the A's opened the fifth with three consecutive singles. Buck brought Oakland within 3-2 with a two-run single, and Hannahan tied things up with a sacrifice fly.

Hannahan had an RBI double that brought Oakland within 6-4 in the seventh, but Ponson ended the threat by striking out Bobby Crosby.

Catalanotto had an RBI double and Kinsler added a run-scoring single in the eighth.

Notes

  • Milton Bradley was back in the Texas lineup after being scratched 20 minutes before Friday's game with dizziness. Bradley was the designated hitter and was 0-for-4.
  • Chavez is 4-for-12 since coming off the 60-day disabled list with a back injury Thursday.
  • Oakland RHP Brad Ziegler made his career debut and gave up Kinsler's RBI single in the eighth before picking him off first base.
 
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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Michael Young not only hits three times, but also shows off his speed as he slides safely into third.  (AP)
Michael Young not only hits three times, but also shows off his speed as he slides safely into third. (AP)

Players of the Game
Texas

M. Young
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
Oakland

E. Chavez
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 

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Oakland Athletics
Jack Hannahan, 1B4012010 .233
Bobby Crosby, SS4000023 .259
Jack Cust, DH4000010 .248
Eric Chavez, 3B4130000 .333
Emil Brown, LF4110002 .255
Mark Ellis, 2B4120001 .240
Travis Buck, RF4022002 .164
Carlos Gonzalez, CF4000003 .286
Kurt Suzuki, C4120000 .251
Totals36411404  
Batting
2B - Jack Hannahan (8, Ponson), Eric Chavez (1, Ponson)
SF - Jack Hannahan (3)
RBI - Jack Hannahan 2 (18), Travis Buck 2 (8)
2-OUT RBI - Jack Hannahan (5)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Travis Buck 1
Oakland Athletics
Joe Blanton (L,3-7) 61066101 4.27
Chad Gaudin 1.2322000 3.74
Brad Ziegler 0.1100000 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Blanton 95-60, Chad Gaudin 28-20, Brad Ziegler 6-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Blanton 6-11, Chad Gaudin 3-2
Batters Faced - Joe Blanton 28, Chad Gaudin 8, Brad Ziegler 1
Texas Rangers
Ian Kinsler, 2B5132001 .300
Michael Young, SS4231003 .290
Josh Hamilton, CF4113001 .326
Milton Bradley, DH4000001 .320
David Murphy, RF4000001 .283
Gerald Laird, C4220000 .270
Frank Catalanotto, 1B4231000 .299
Brandon Boggs, LF3011101 .276
Ramon Vazquez, 3B4010003 .330
Totals36814810  
Batting
2B - Ian Kinsler (14, Blanton), Gerald Laird (6, Gaudin), Frank Catalanotto (12, Gaudin), Ramon Vazquez (10, Blanton)
3B - Michael Young (1, Blanton)
HR - Josh Hamilton (14, Blanton)
RBI - Ian Kinsler 2 (34), Michael Young (25), Josh Hamilton 3 (61), Frank Catalanotto (8), Brandon Boggs (17)
2-OUT RBI - Ian Kinsler 2 (14)
PK - Ian Kinsler (2, Ziegler)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Kinsler-Young-Catalanotto
Texas Rangers
Sidney Ponson (W,4-1) 7944040 3.83
Eddie Guardado (H,5) 0.1100000 2.93
Joaquin Benoit (H,10) 0.2100000 4.39
Jamey Wright 1000000 2.97
Pitches-Strikes - Sidney Ponson 101-70, Eddie Guardado 7-6, Joaquin Benoit 7-6, Jamey Wright 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Sidney Ponson 10-6, Jamey Wright 2-1
Batters Faced - Sidney Ponson 29, Eddie Guardado 2, Joaquin Benoit 3, Jamey Wright 3
Game Information
Attendance - 36798
Game Time - 2:21
Temperature - 90
Umpires - Home - Jeff Kellogg, First Base - Mark Wegner, Second Base - Chad Fairchild, Third Base - Paul Emmel