A's bats keep cranking along with victories
ARLINGTON -- Since close games haven't been their forte, anyway, the A's are simply trying to make a habit out of clobbering opponents.
On Wednesday, the A's recorded eight runs against Rangers starter Wandy Rodriguez en route to an 8-2 series-clinching victory, upping their run total to 70 over the last 10 games, eight resulting in wins. Oakland is batting .308 in that span.
"Our starters have been throwing the ball well for us, but at the same time, we've been putting up runs," said Brett Lawrie, who launched his third career grand slam in the first inning of his three-hit night on Wednesday.
Lawrie hit .229 in April and .295 in May. Now, he's batting .361 in June.
"Knock on wood, he's shown his durability for us," manager Bob Melvin said. "Had a couple issues that have kept him out a few games, but has mostly been durable and has been really active over there at third, and getting big hits for us, driving in runs."
The A's are getting production from top to bottom these days. Like Lawrie, the red-hot Billy Burns -- he of a 14-game hitting streak -- and Stephen Vogt -- back in the lineup after getting a cortisone shot in his left elbow -- each had three hits. Josh Phegley homered for the second time in as many days, and Oakland finished with 14 hits overall.
Their offensive efforts, complementing stellar starting pitching and an improving defense and bullpen, have helped the A's inch back toward .500. At 33-41, they're nine games back of the first-place Astros, after being 13 1/2 games out in the American League West a month ago.
The A's have won four straight and eight of their last 10. Against the Rangers, who remain in second place, they're 8-4 this season.
"They're playing well, just fortunately for our team right now, we're playing just as well against them," Lawrie said. "Every time we come into town, whether that's here or whether that's anywhere, whoever we play against, we're always ready to play and anything can happen on any given day."