Rangers thump A's

By: From Wire Reports
By: From Wire Reports

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- The Texas Rangers are digging out of their early season hole with every victory -- and they're piling it on the woeful Oakland Athletics.

Michael Young had five hits and drove in three runs, and the Rangers sent the A's to their ninth straight loss, 11-4 Tuesday night.

Young went 5-for-5 with two doubles and a walk in the fourth five-hit game of his career, but the All-Star shortstop was just part of a 15-hit attack in the Rangers' third straight road victory.

"The fact that it came in a win where everybody contributed is the most important thing," said Young, who wouldn't even crack a smile after a big game in Texas' impressive victory.

Kenny Lofton had a leadoff triple and three hits for the last-place Rangers, who have won nine of their last 14 to move within 2 1/2 games of third-place Oakland. Possibly getting out of the AL West cellar doesn't excite the Rangers as much as a simple, sustained run of solid play by the longtime also-rans.

"We did a lot of everything," said Mark Teixeira, who drew four walks but left the game after getting hit with a pitch in the eighth. "They helped us out, too. They walked too many guys and didn't make some plays, but we capitalized."

Ramon Vazquez tripled down the right-field line in the sixth to drive home the go-ahead run, and Texas added five more while batting around in the seventh. Many of the fans left in the Coliseum afterward booed the home team.

"The hits kept coming, and we ran the basepaths extremely well," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "We were very aggressive, putting the ball in play and executing the fundamentals."

The Rangers are quite familiar with the helpless feeling in the A's locker room after their own rough start in Washington's first season in charge.

"Yeah, nothing seems to go right," Washington said. "You get back in the game, they go back ahead. You hit the ball hard, somebody is standing there. Plays you normally make, you don't seem to make."

Jack Cust homered and drove in three runs for the A's, who hit the lowest point yet in their worst losing skid since July 1998. They've lost their first six games after the All-Star break for the first time since 1964, when the franchise still was in Kansas City.

Oakland made two errors and several other defensive blunders while getting lousy pitching from starter Chad Gaudin (8-5) and the bullpen.

"Right now we're just struggling," said Gaudin, who allowed eight hits and a career-high six walks in six innings. "Guys are making it a point to be real positive. Nobody's really hanging their heads. Every day we're going to go out and fight. Things just aren't going our way right now."

Eric Chavez sat out of his second straight game with a sore lower back for the A's, who held a brief team meeting before batting practice to address issues around the losing streak. The offense responded by scoring at least four runs for the first time in 12 games, snapping the longest streak in Oakland history.

"We're definitely looking up, fighting an upward battle right now, there's no doubt," manager Bob Geren said. "We had a nice talk today with the team, and everybody's really trying to push forward and climb out of it collectively. Some good signs tonight."

Robinson Tejeda struggled again for the Rangers, yielding four hits and a career high-tying six walks while failing to get out of the fifth inning despite pitching on 11 days' rest. Texas might be running out of patience with Tejeda, who has just one win in his last 10 starts with an ERA hovering around 9.00.

Willie Eyre (3-3) got two outs in the fifth inning before Texas' go-ahead rally. Ron Mahay pitched three scoreless innings for his first save of the year.

Texas scored two runs in the fifth when Jerry Hairston scored on Gaudin's bases-loaded wild pitch and Sammy Sosa added a sacrifice fly, but Cust tied it with his 16th homer of the season -- his first since July 3, snapping a 2-for-23 slump.

Gerald Laird, the Rangers' husky catcher, scored from first base in both the sixth and seventh innings -- first on Vazquez's triple, and again when reliever Joe Kennedy fielded Vazquez's sacrifice bunt and threw it into the A's bullpen.

When right-handed reliever Shane Komine took the mound in the eighth to pitch to catcher Kurt Suzuki, the A's formed the first Hawaiian-born battery in major league history.

Notes

Teixeira was hit in the right quadriceps -- the same muscle that kept him on the disabled list for a month with a strain. The first baseman said he was fine afterward. ... Young snapped a streak of 26 consecutive singles Monday night with his first extra-base hit since June 15. ... Chavez might undergo an MRI exam soon to determine the seriousness of his sore back, though Geren said the third baseman felt a bit better after resting Monday.


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