A's top Rangers 5-3
ARLINGTON, Texas — With a doubleheader set for Saturday, Athletics manager Bob Melvin is trying to find spots to rest his regulars.
He was glad he left Marcus Semien in the lineup Friday night.
Semien hit his second homer of the game in the ninth inning, a two-run, tiebreaking shot that lifted the A’s over the Texas Rangers 5-3 to open the four-game series.
“There isn’t a game he’s not ready for,” Melvin said of Semien, who matched career highs with two homers and four hits. “He’s energized every day, and he rubs off on a lot of our guys in the way he goes about his business.”
“Just tried to get in good counts, do your homework and I got pitches that I was looking for,” Semien said.
Semien drove a 3-2 pitch from Jose Leclerc (1-2) just beyond the right field wall after Jurickson Profar sliced a double inches fair down the left field line. Semien also homered in the fifth inning.
The A’s won for the third time in four games after arriving in Texas from California at 6 a.m. Friday.
“They got away with that one,” said Rangers center fielder Delino DeShields, who went 3 for 4. “You have to have a short-term memory and come back and get two tomorrow.”
Yusmeiro Petit (1-1) pitched 1⅔ scoreless innings before Blake Treinen earned his 13th save by getting Elvis Andrus to hit into a game-ending double play with the bases loaded.
“Leclerc — unlucky cue ball right down the line,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said. “Obviously the last pitch to Semien he probably wants back, but that whole inning changes if that ball’s not fair on Profar.”
Lance Lynn limited the A’s to two runs and six hits in six innings for his sixth straight quality start. Lynn struck out eight and walked one.
Brett Anderson cruised through five shutout innings on 58 pitches and three hits before Texas tagged him for three runs, the last being Hunter Pence’s homer into the Oakland bullpen in left-center. Anderson left with the bases loaded in the seventh before Petit retired the inning’s final two batters.
Oakland is 5-1 this season against Texas, which has lost its openers to the Kansas City Royals, the Baltimore Orioles and the A’s during a season-long 11-game homestand. ... Rangers RHP Jesse Chavez pitched a scoreless eighth inning to run his string of scoreless innings to 21⅔, the longest active streak in the major leagues. ... DeShields is 10 for 18 with three multihit games since being recalled from Triple-A Nashville on Sunday. ... Semien went into play leading major league shortstops with a .992 fielding percentage and committed his third error of the season.
Anderson bobbled a toss from 1B Matt Olson that allowed Pence to reach base, Nomar Mazara to advance to second and Logan Forsythe to third in the fourth inning. But Forsythe then broke for the plate, slipped a third of the way down the line and was tagged out in a rundown.
With C Isiah Kiner-Falefa placed on the 10-day injured list Friday with a right middle-finger sprain, the Rangers acquired C Tim Federowicz from the Cleveland Indians for a player to be named later or cash considerations.