ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—Brandon McCarthy recovered from a rocky first inning to pitch six strong innings, Hank Blalockand Marlon Byrd hit back-to-back homers, and the Texas Rangers routed the Oakland Athletics 14-1 on Saturday night.
McCarthy (5-2) was coming off his first major league shutout on May 24 against Houston, but he walked the game’s first two batters before Matt Holliday grounded into a double play.
After walking Jason Giambi, McCarthy gave up an RBI double to Kurt Suzuki, then retired Ryan Sweeney to limit the damage.
McCarthy settled down to retire 12 in a row before giving up a fifth-inning single. He allowed one run and three hits in six innings with two strikeouts and three walks.
Texas went in front with a three-run third on Michael Young’s run-scoring double and Josh Hamilton’s two-run single.
Blalock and Byrd led off the fourth against rookie starter Brett Anderson(2-5) with homers and Young added an RBI double later in the inning to stretch the lead to 6-1.
Nelson Cruz’s 445-foot solo blast in a four-run fifth was his seventh homer in his last 11 games, helping the Rangers extend their edge to 10-1.
Ian Kinsler had four RBIs, including a two-run double highlighting a three-run seventh to make it 13-1.
Byrd, Young and rookie Elvis Andrus each had three hits in Texas’ 17-hit barrage.
Texas (30-19) has won seven of nine to equal the 1996 team for the second-best start in club history. In 1998, Texas opened at 31-18 for its best start.
The injury-depleted A’s (18-29) lost their fourth in a row to match the fourth-worst start (1997) in the team’s 42-year run in Oakland.
Anderson took a step back against Texas, giving up six runs and eight hits in four innings.