Good things come in pairs, the saying goes.
But such was not the case for the Rangers Wednesday afternoon in Oakland. The Rangers and Athletics put up runs in just two innings, each time scoring in pairs. Two of Oakland’s four runs came on two-baggers.
The two clubs traded sets of two runs in the fifth, with Oakland’s pair of runs in the bottom half being the difference in the final score.
In a tie game through four-and-a-half innings, Brandon Moss sent the second of two Oakland RBI doubles on the day to the right field corner, scoring Yoenis Cespedes from first. Stephen Vogt added a sac fly to score the game’s final run.
Craig Gentry’s all-too-familiar speed hurt his former club in the third inning. Gentry, who, naturally, had two hits on the day, reached on an infield single to shortstop before scoring on a double to left-center field by John Jaso. Jaso would come home on a base hit through the shortstop hole with two outs in the inning.
The Rangers’ only damage came in the top of the fifth inning, when two walks and two singles plated two runs. Shin-Soo Choo singled with two outs and the bases loaded for the only RBI hit for Texas.
Choo’s hit created a short-lived tie before Oakland plated the go-ahead runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Oakland starter Sonny Gray pitched seven innings, allowing only the two runs. Gray has pitched at least seven innings in all three games against the Rangers this season.
He struck out seven and threw 100 pitches Wednesday afternoon.
Rangers starter Nick Tepesch allowed all four Athletic runs, throwing one less pitch than Gray but two fewer innings.
Texas managed a base runner in four innings of Wednesday’s ballgame. Runners reached in each inning from the third through sixth innings, and the Rangers recorded multiple base runners in only the fourth and fifth innings.
The fourth frame marked the most significant missed opportunity for the Rangers, as they stranded two men in scoring position after a single from Choo and a double from Alex Rios.
Brad Snyder would strike out to end the inning.
Relievers for both teams combined for five innings of shutout baseball, as Scott Baker pitched the final three innings - with Oakland’s final at-bat being an unnecessity - and two Athletics relievers combining for two scoreless innings. Sean Doolittle recorded his ninth save of the season with a three-up, three down ninth inning.
The Rangers have an off day after the short trip to Los Angeles for a three-game set with the Angels beginning Friday.