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Athletics 7, Rangers 2

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OAKLAND, Calif. -- Coco Crisp returned to the Athletics' lineup after missing three games and doubled on the second pitch he saw.

The next time up he singled in a run -- yet all anyone wanted to talk about was Crisp's hair.

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Oakland's speedy leadoff hitter shunned the normal thick braids and instead sported a thick, bushy Afro that reminded many of former Yankees slugger Oscar Gamble. Even teammate Hideki Matsui was captivated by Crisp's crop.

"I think it's awesome," a grinning Matsui said through a translator after Oakland's 7-2 win over the Texas Rangers on Sunday. "[But] I don't know if I want to have Afro hair."

It works just fine for Crisp, who broke out the hairdo earlier for one game this season. Now, he's tempted to keep it a little longer this time around.

"As long as you're getting on base you can go out there with a half-bald head or long hair or whatever," Crisp said after pacing an A's offense that had struggled to score while he was sidelined with a sore left quadriceps. "[Manager Bob Geren] was pushing me toward the ponytail but the guys were like, 'Man, you spend all that time taking your braids out you might as well let it flow. I did, and it worked out."

Conor Jackson added two hits and two RBIs, Kurt Suzuki drove in two runs and Gio Gonzalez pitched into the seventh inning to snap a three-start skid for Oakland, which had 11 hits against four Texas pitchers.

It was the fourth time this season the A's scored more than six runs.

"It was great to see the offense up and down the line get some big hits," Geren said. "Having [Crisp] back in there was huge. You could see a big difference in the lineup."

Michael Young and Ian Kinsler drove in runs for Texas, which committed three errors and lost for the fifth time in seven games.

Rangers starter Matt Harrison (3-3) failed to make it out of the second inning, the second straight outing in which the lefty has been roughed up early.

"He just didn't have it again today," said manager Ron Washington, who pulled Harrison with two outs in the second and the bases loaded. "Once again it was his command. Giving up base hits, I have no problem with that. He just didn't have his command. He certainly has got to do better and he knows that."

Gonzalez (3-2) scattered five hits with seven strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings to win for the first time since April 9. The left-hander didn't give up a hit until the fourth inning and allowed only three runners past second base.

Despite falling awkwardly on the mound after Elvis Andrus hit a sharp grounder up the middle in the fourth, Gonzalez never ran into serious trouble and stayed unbeaten over his last four starts against Texas.

It was Oakland's offense -- and Texas' shoddy defense -- that made the biggest difference.

Crisp provided a spark and Jackson extended his recent tear. Jackson is hitting .360 with four extra-base hits and seven RBIs over his last seven games.

The Rangers didn't help themselves defensively, either. The three errors led to two unearned runs.

Crisp doubled on Harrison's second pitch and scored on Jackson's two-run double down the right-field line. Suzuki singled through a drawn-in infield to give the A's a 3-0 lead.

Crisp made it 4-0 with a two-out RBI single in the second.

"Obviously, that's what you want to do as a leadoff hitter is get on base," Crisp said. "It definitely felt good after a few days off to come back and right off the bat get something going. We were able to pull out the win, not necessarily because of the 'fro but because Gio pitched a great game and our hitters hit today."

Harrison, who lasted just three innings in his previous start against Toronto, was gone two batters later after Daric Barton doubled and Jackson walked to load the bases.

Dave Bush struck out Josh Willingham to end the threat but the Rangers never recovered.

Harrison's quick exit marked the third straight game in which he's struggled after opening the season with consecutive wins over the Red Sox, Orioles and Yankees. Harrison's ERA has spiked from 1.23 to 4.59 since then, and his loss to the A's was his first in four career starts against Oakland.

The A's added two runs off Bush in the third after Suzuki reached on a throwing error by Andrus at shortstop to open the inning. Matsui followed with a run-scoring double and scored on Cliff Pennington's two-out single.

Notes

The run scored by Matsui in the third was the 1,500th of his career combined between Japan and the United States. ... The Rangers are 1-2 on a seven-game, two-city road trip. ... Barton played in his 387th game at first base for the A's, tying Bruce Bochte for fourth-most in franchise history. ... RHP Ryan Tucker threw a scoreless inning for Texas after making his Rangers debut on Friday.

 
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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Players of the Game
Oakland

K. Suzuki
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Oakland

C. Jackson
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Texas Rangers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ian Kinsler, 2B5011005 .231
Elvis Andrus, SS5120014 .257
Michael Young, DH3011111 .342
Adrian Beltre, 3B4000003 .259
Nelson Cruz, LF4000023 .237
Mike Napoli, 1B4000021 .245
David Murphy, CF3020110 .284
Yorvit Torrealba, C3110112 .291
Mitch Moreland, RF3010013 .282
Totals3428239  
Batting
2B - Ian Kinsler (8, Ziegler), Elvis Andrus (4, G. Gonzalez)
RBI - Ian Kinsler (13), Michael Young (20)
2-OUT RBI - Ian Kinsler (7)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Kinsler-Andrus-Napoli, Kinsler-Andrus-Napoli
E - Elvis Andrus (6, Throwing), Ian Kinsler (4, Misplayed grounder), Mitch Moreland (1, Dropped fly)
Texas Rangers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Matt Harrison (L,3-3) 1.2644210 4.59
Dave Bush 4.1321040 1.46
Ryan Tucker 1110100 0.00
Pedro Strop 1100000 1.04
HBP - LaRoche (by Dave Bush)
WP - Ryan Tucker (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Harrison 49-29, Dave Bush 64-42, Ryan Tucker 25-13, Pedro Strop 17-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Harrison 2-1, Dave Bush 7-1, Ryan Tucker 2-2, Pedro Strop 3-0
Batters Faced - Matt Harrison 12, Dave Bush 16, Ryan Tucker 6, Pedro Strop 4
Oakland Athletics
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Coco Crisp, CF5121002 .292
Daric Barton, 1B4110111 .211
Conor Jackson, RF3122101 .298
Josh Willingham, LF4100015 .236
Kurt Suzuki, C4122000 .256
Hideki Matsui, DH3111120 .245
Mark Ellis, 2B4000003 .184
Andy LaRoche, 3B3120010 .324
Cliff Pennington, SS4011001 .229
Totals34711735  
Batting
2B - Coco Crisp (6, Harrison), Daric Barton (9, Harrison), Conor Jackson (5, Harrison), Hideki Matsui (7, Bush), Andy LaRoche (5, Harrison)
RBI - Coco Crisp (9), Conor Jackson 2 (10), Kurt Suzuki 2 (7), Hideki Matsui (13), Cliff Pennington (7)
2-OUT RBI - Coco Crisp (3), Kurt Suzuki (4)
SB - Josh Willingham (2, 2nd base off Tucker/Torrealba)
CS - Kurt Suzuki (1, 2nd base by Harrison/Torrealba), Cliff Pennington (3, 2nd base by Bush/Torrealba)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Pennington-Ellis-Barton
Oakland Athletics
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Gio Gonzalez (W,3-2) 6.2522270 2.70
Brad Ziegler 0.1100000 0.00
Grant Balfour 1000110 2.45
Craig Breslow0200000 4.00
Brian Fuentes 1000010 3.86
HBP - Moreland (by Gio Gonzalez)
WP - Gio Gonzalez (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Gio Gonzalez 105-64, Brad Ziegler 4-3, Grant Balfour 18-9, Craig Breslow 8-6, Brian Fuentes 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gio Gonzalez 6-6, Brad Ziegler 1-0, Grant Balfour 1-1
Batters Faced - Gio Gonzalez 27, Brad Ziegler 2, Grant Balfour 4, Craig Breslow 2, Brian Fuentes 3
Game Information
Attendance - 15178
Game Time - 3:01
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Doug Eddings, First Base - Dana DeMuth, Second Base - Kerwin Danley, Third Base - Paul Nauert