Cruz breaks tie, leads Rangers to .500

Nelson Cruz hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning to make up for a costly error, and the Texas Rangers beat the Oakland Athletics 5-4 Tuesday night.

The Rangers (10-10) won for the fourth time in five games to get back to .500 for the first time since the opening weekend of the season, when they were 3-3 after sweeping their opening homestand before losing three straight at Detroit.

Hank Blalock reached on a two-base error in the eighth when his sharp grounder went under the glove of first baseman Jason Giambi into the right-field corner. Cruz followed with a single to left off Michael Wuertz (1-1).

Kevin Millwood (2-2) scattered 10 hits over eight innings, allowing four runs—two earned—with five strikeouts. Frank Francisco worked a perfect ninth for his sixth save in six chances, and 23rd consecutive scoreless appearance.

The game was tied 1-all in the fifth before right fielder Cruz made his error. He put his glove down to field Orlando Cabrera’s grounder and the ball instead scooted past to the wall. Ryan Sweeney scored from first and Cabrera went to third. Giambi then followed with a slow roller for an RBI infield single.

Sweeney led off the seventh with his first homer to tie it at 4 after Texas had gotten three runs in the sixth, when rookie left-hander Brett Anderson left because of an apparent blister on his middle finger.

Blalock had an RBI single with two outs in the first, then Anderson faced the minimum 13 batters through the fifth inning—thanks to a double play.

Marlon Byrd reached leading off the sixth when his grounder rolled through shortstop Orlando Cabrera’s legs for an error. Anderson then had a 2-0 count on Michael Young when a team trainer was summoned to the mound and the rookie then left with him.

Reliever Andrew Bailey threw six consecutive balls, walking Young and then Andruw Jones. After Blalock’s foul popout, Cruz drew a bases-loaded walk and Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a two-run single.

Anderson struck out five, all on called third strikes. Only one of the three runs against him were earned.

Oakland got an unearned run in the third when second baseman Ian Kinsler let a ball under his glove with two outs, and Sweeney scored. It was Kinsler’s first error this season.


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