ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Matt Olson and Marcus Semien connected on two-run homers, Stephen Piscotty lined a bases-clearing double and the Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 10-3 on Tuesday night.
Tony Kemp scored three runs without hitting the ball out of the infield, starting on a wild pitch in the second inning when he took a huge lead with a shift on and came home even though the ball didn’t go far from the plate. The speedy second baseman walked, was hit by a pitch and had an infield single.
“He’s showing some things that I’ve said often about guys that don’t show up in the boxscore,” manager Bob Melvin said. “Just the awareness to get down the line and be in position to score on a ball in the dirt.”
Olson put the AL West-leading A’s ahead for good at 3-1 with his 10th homer, a 453-foot drive over the Texas bullpen in right-center field in the fourth. Semien went deep for his fifth an inning later.
Olson was dropped to his lowest spot in the order this season at sixth after a 3-for-29 slump that dropped his average to .164, fifth-lowest in the majors coming in. He had hits his first two at-bats and walked.
“It can wear on you because you want to be that guy that contributes in the middle of the order,” Melvin said. “Sometimes it’s just the slightest move can help you out a little bit. He’ll be back soon in the middle of the order.”
Piscotty’s three-run double down the line in left in the seventh came after Texas reliever Ian Gibaut forced home two runs with a walk and the fourth hit-batter of the game when he plunked Mark Canha.
The right-hander wasn’t ejected even though a warning had been issued when Sean Manaea hit Robinson Chirinos two innings earlier. It was Gibaut’s last batter anyway because manager Chris Woodward took him out.
“Those free bases, that kind of derailed the game a little bit because I felt like we had a little momentum offensively,” Woodward said.
Oakland’s Matt Chapman was the first to get hit, on a 91 mph pitch from Kyle Gibson that glanced off the ear flap on his batting helmet leading off the fourth. After a brief medical check, Chapman stayed in the game. Kemp was hit by Gibson leading off the fifth.
“I don’t know when the last time I hit somebody like that,” Gibson said of Chapman. “I just wanted to hang around home plate and let him know I wasn’t trying to do anything closely remote to that.”
Melvin said Chapman was OK.
“He wanted no part of coming out of the game,” Melvin said.
A’s catcher Jonah Heim had his first career hit in his major league debut, a single in the seventh.
Nick Solak singled in two runs to get the Rangers within 5-3 in the fifth, a night after they stopped an eight-game losing streak with a win in the series opener.
Manaea (2-2) allowed three runs, one earned, in five innings as the lefty won his second straight start after going winless in his first five. Gibson (1-3) gave up seven runs in 6 1/3 innings with six strikeouts, two walks, two hit batters and a wild pitch.
Athletics: Utility man Chad Pinder is on the paternity list awaiting the birth of his first child. He had to scramble home Tuesday morning with the baby possibly arriving earlier than the September due date. The A’s added OF Seth Brown from the taxi squad.
Rangers: 2B Rougned Odor was a late scratch because of a right eye infection. … OF-DH Shin-Soo Choo missed a sixth straight game without being on the injured list because of various ailments highlighted by an oblique injury. Woodward said the club still believes Choo can return before the 10-day mark.
Athletics: RHP Mike Fiers (3-1, 5.81 ERA) is scheduled in the third of four games in the series. The A’s are 5-1 in his starts despite the lofty ERA. Fiers has allowed just one run over the first two innings (0.75 ERA) but 19 runs from the third inning on (9.00 ERA).
Rangers: LHP Kolby Allard (0-2, 7.82) has allowed 10 runs in 3 2/3 innings over his past two starts after giving up just one run in nine innings over his first two starts.