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Oakland at Texas

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Oakland (19-29) «1000012015100
Texas (30-20)0000002204102

Kennedy hits two home runs, gets to Rangers' Francisco as A's win

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Adam Kennedy knew his long-ball opportunities would be limited against Texas Rangers closer Frank Francisco. With a fastball in the mid-to-high 90s and an effective off-speed pitch, Francisco hadn't allowed a run all season.

Kennedy won the battle, breaking a 4-all tie with a one-out homer in the ninth for his third career multi-homer game, and the Oakland Athletics ended a four-game skid with a 5-4 victory over the AL West-leading Rangers on Sunday.

Kennedy ripped a 1-0 fastball off Francisco (1-1) into the right field seats, ending a streak of 28 appearances without having yielded an earned run. Francisco had 17 2/3 scoreless innings in his first 17 games this season, the most in the majors without giving up a run.

"Off a closer, you're not going to get a whole lot of chances or a whole lot of good pitches to hit," Kennedy said. "When you get one, you want to put a good swing on it."

Francisco didn't show up in the clubhouse for an extended period after the game. When he finally arrived, he said he wasn't upset or ducking reporters but was just going through his usual postgame routine.

"It was a fastball in the middle of the plate," Francisco said of the homer to Kennedy.

Kennedy has been one of the few offensive bright spots for the A's, last in the AL in batting average and homers. Kennedy went 3-for-5 to raise his average to .390.

"When they tie the game and bring in a guy in the ninth who hasn't given up a run all year ... you think it might take a couple innings to hold them before you can get a run, just the statistical odds of that," A's manager Bob Geren said. "But you've got to give a lot of credit to Adam Kennedy. He's been phenomenal for us. We haven't had a great start to our season, and what little success we've had, he's always been right in the middle of it."

Andrew Bailey (4-0) pitched the final 1 2/3 innings to earn the win.

A's starter Dallas Braden allowed two runs and five hits over six-plus innings before exiting with a cut on his left thumb. He struck out six and walked two, turning in a performance similar to his last start in Texas on April 30 when he pitched five shutout innings in a 4-2 victory.

Braden gave up a two-out double to Andruw Jones in the first, then settled in to retire 11 in a row into the sixth after the Rangers had outscored the A's in the first three games of the series, 25-6.

Braden faltered in the seventh, allowing a leadoff single to Hank Blalock and a double to Marlon Byrd. After Byrd's hit, Geren and a team trainer went to the mound and Braden's day was over due to the cut on his thumb.

Braden said he accidentally sustained the cut on the team medical case in the dugout between innings.

Geren brought in Craig Breslow, and one out later, Jarrod Saltalamacchia's two-run double pulled the Rangers within 4-2.

In the eighth, the Rangers rallied to tie it at 4 on Blalock's RBI single and Byrd's run-scoring infield single, both off Bailey.

Rangers starter Kevin Millwood allowed two runs and five hits in six innings, striking out five and walking two while throwing 116 pitches.

Texas reliever Derek Holland's seventh-inning balk scored Orlando Cabrera from third, and Jack Cust followed with an RBI single to make it 4-0.

Kennedy's solo homer in the first gave Oakland early momentum, and Jason Giambi's sixth-inning blast made it 2-0.

A's center fielder Ryan Sweeney's leaping catch at the wall denied Kinsler's home run bid leading off the first. Sweeney's full-extension grab robbed Kinsler of a three-run homer in the eighth inning of the game at Arlington on April 30.

Notes

  • Texas finished with a May record of 20-9, the most wins in the month in club history. The Rangers, who had won seven of their previous nine, wound up one victory short of matching their most successful month ever (September of 1978 when they went 21-10).
  • Blalock started at 1B for the second straight game in place of Chris Davis as Davis continues to work on his swing. Davis came on as a defensive replacement in the ninth.
  • Cust and 3B Jack Hannahan were back in the Oakland lineup after missing Saturday night's game with back spasms.
 
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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It's congrats all around in the Oakland dugout after Adam Kennedy's HR off Rangers closer Frank Francisco.  (AP)
It's congrats all around in the Oakland dugout after Adam Kennedy's HR off Rangers closer Frank Francisco. (AP)

Players of the Game
Oakland

A. Kennedy
AB 5
R 3
H 3
HR 2
RBI 2
Texas

M. Byrd
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Oakland Athletics
Orlando Cabrera, SS4110102 .236
Adam Kennedy, 2B5332013 .390
Jack Cust, DH5011010 .252
Matt Holliday, LF4020000 .270
Jason Giambi, 1B4111024 .220
    Bobby Crosby, 1B0000000 .204
Kurt Suzuki, C4010001 .285
Ryan Sweeney, CF4010011 .250
Aaron Cunningham, RF3000111 .050
Jack Hannahan, 3B4000035 .194
Totals37510429  
Batting
2B - Orlando Cabrera (6, Holland)
HR - Adam Kennedy 2 (4, Millwood, Francisco), Jason Giambi (6, Millwood)
RBI - Adam Kennedy 2 (15), Jack Cust (26), Jason Giambi (23)
SB - Matt Holliday (4, 2nd base off Millwood/Saltalamacchia)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Kennedy-Cabrera-Crosby
Oakland Athletics
Dallas Braden 6522260 3.63
Craig Breslow (H,4) 0.1100000 5.03
Michael Wuertz (H,5) 1122130 2.59
Andrew Bailey (BS,3; W,4-0) 1.2300010 2.23
Pitches-Strikes - Dallas Braden 82-56, Craig Breslow 8-5, Michael Wuertz 25-15, Andrew Bailey 18-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dallas Braden 2-9, Andrew Bailey 2-1
Batters Faced - Dallas Braden 24, Craig Breslow 2, Michael Wuertz 5, Andrew Bailey 7
Texas Rangers
Ian Kinsler, 2B5010012 .279
Michael Young, 3B5120010 .333
Andruw Jones, DH4010033 .282
Nelson Cruz, RF2100212 .296
Hank Blalock, 1B4121002 .258
    Chris Davis, 1B0000000 .194
Marlon Byrd, CF4121000 .304
David Murphy, LF3000114 .226
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C4012012 .255
Elvis Andrus, SS3000021 .283
   a- Josh Hamilton, PH1010000 .240
    Omar Vizquel, PR0000000 .333
Totals354104310  
a-singled for Andrus in the 9th
Batting
2B - Andruw Jones (9, Braden), Marlon Byrd (18, Braden), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (7, Breslow)
RBI - Hank Blalock (28), Marlon Byrd (24), Jarrod Saltalamacchia 2 (23)
CS - David Murphy (3, 2nd base by Braden/Suzuki)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Kinsler-Andrus-Blalock, Young-Kinsler-Blalock
E - Hank Blalock (1, Misplayed grounder), Ian Kinsler (4, Missed catch of throw)
Texas Rangers
Kevin Millwood 6522252 3.23
Derek Holland 2422030 5.96
Frank Francisco (L,1-1) 1111011 0.48
HBP - Holliday (by Kevin Millwood)
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Millwood 116-68, Derek Holland 34-21, Frank Francisco 16-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Millwood 8-6, Derek Holland 2-0, Frank Francisco 1-1
Batters Faced - Kevin Millwood 27, Derek Holland 9, Frank Francisco 4
Game Information
Attendance - 22952
Game Time - 2:57
Temperature - 91
Umpires - Home - Gerry Davis, First Base - Brian Gorman, Second Base - C.B. Bucknor, Third Base - Mike Everitt