ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) While the Texas Rangers were roughing up an Oakland pitcher making his big league debut, one of their own rookies was getting ready to get his first victory.
Texas left-hander Wes Benjamin was warming up in the bullpen preparing to enter in the second inning as planned behind an opener when Rougned Odor and Ronald Guzman homered in a five-run first off Daulton Jefferies for the Rangers in a 5-2 victory over the Athletics in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday.
''I would be lying to you if I said I wasn't thinking about it. But at the same time, I try not to look at the scoreboard.'' said Benjamin, who entered with a 5-0 lead. ''I knew the second inning was mine and I was preparing to go in like a start, eat as many innings as I could.''
After Nick Goody retired the first three batters as the opener, Benjamin (1-0) went four innings in his fifth big league game - all in relief - with four strikeouts and one walk. Rafael Montero worked a perfect seventh for his eight save in as many tries this season, though it was the right-handed closer's first since Sept. 1. The Rangers had won only 10 of their previous 13 games.
Both Rangers homers came with two outs in the first, with Odor lining a three-run shot down the right field line just a few rows beyond the wall. Elvis Andrus then had a single before Guzman's impressive 431-foot blast much deeper into the right felt seats.
A's manager Bob Melvin said Jeffries ''was probably a little amped up. The homers were changeups, probably a little higher velocity than he normally throws. First inning can be tough regardless, and then in your first start, get a couple guys out and you have to look at a three-run homer, it can get you nervous.''
Jefferies (0-1), a 25-year-old right-hander who had never pitched above the Double-A level, was called up to be the 29th player for the A's in the doubleheader. He threw 53 pitches over two innings, allowing the five runs on five hits, with one strikeout and two walks.
Jordan Weems pitched three no-hit innings with five strikeouts after replacing Jefferies.
''It was terrific. We needed that,'' Melvin said.
In between games, the Rangers put shortstop Andrus on the injured list with a back strain for the second time this year after he went 1-for-3. Manager Chris Woodward said Andrus was probably done for the season. Texas brought Sherten Apostel up from its alternate site, and he started at third base in the nightcap to make his big league debut.
The teams played a doubleheader to make up for the game postponed Aug. 27 when the A's decided not to play the finale of a scheduled four-game series to support calls for racial justice.
CLOSED AND OPEN
It was the first time the Rangers homered in the first inning of a game at their new ballpark with a retractable roof - which was opened for the second game after being closed for the opener. The roof was also opened during Oakland's 10-6 win in the series opener Friday night.
The five runs in the first matched the most for the Rangers in an inning this season. That also equaled the most allowed by the A's in a single frame. ... Odor went deep for the second game in a row, and the fifth time this season, though the homer in the first was only his third hit his last 30 at-bats.
Athletics: All-Star 3B Matt Chapman is expected to miss the rest of the season because of a strained right hip. After not playing since last Sunday, the two-time Gold Glove winner was put on the injured list Saturday and is scheduled to undergo surgery Monday.
Rangers: OF Willie Calhoun, out since Aug. 19 because of a left hamstring strain, likely will be activated from the injured list Tuesday, when the Rangers play at Houston after a day off Monday.
For the A's, the nightcap of their second doubleheader in five days, with another doubleheader scheduled Monday in Seattle. The Rangers will play twice in one day for the first time this season.
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