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Late home runs spoil Manaea's strong outing

Rangers rally late for five runs vs. A's bullpen
MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- The Athletics' pitchers have struggled to keep the ball in every ballpark but their own this season, serving up an American League-most 47 homers on the road -- including the five the Rangers hit Tuesday night in Oakland's 7-4 loss at Globe Life Park.

A's lefty Sean Manaea had perhaps his best start since April, allowing two solo homers over 5 1/3 innings, but the Oakland bullpen faltered in the seventh when Yusmeiro Petit gave up a two-run shot to Shin-Soo Choo, and then the A's let the game slip away in the eighth when Lou Trivino yielded a solo homer to Adrian Beltre and a two-run rocket to Joey Gallo.

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ARLINGTON -- The Athletics' pitchers have struggled to keep the ball in every ballpark but their own this season, serving up an American League-most 47 homers on the road -- including the five the Rangers hit Tuesday night in Oakland's 7-4 loss at Globe Life Park.

A's lefty Sean Manaea had perhaps his best start since April, allowing two solo homers over 5 1/3 innings, but the Oakland bullpen faltered in the seventh when Yusmeiro Petit gave up a two-run shot to Shin-Soo Choo, and then the A's let the game slip away in the eighth when Lou Trivino yielded a solo homer to Adrian Beltre and a two-run rocket to Joey Gallo.

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"This ballpark is probably a little bit conducive to it, especially when it's playing like it is tonight with the wind blowing," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "You've got to try to keep the ball down. Some of their best hitters got some big hits for them."

Video: OAK@TEX: Beltre launches a go-ahead homer in the 8th

The A's have given up a more respectable 28 homers this season at Oakland Coliseum, but it's known as one of baseball's least homer-friendly parks.

Tuesday, the A's wasted not only Manaea's outing but a 3-1 lead they built on three consecutive hits in the first -- Jed Lowrie's double, Khris Davis' RBI double and Matt Olson's RBI single -- and Davis' solo homer in the fifth.

The A's had a chance to pad their early lead in the second, with a runner on first and no outs, but Rangers center fielder Delino DeShields sprinted straight back to make a dazzling catch on Stephen Piscotty's deep fly ball just before slamming into the wall.

Manaea's outing didn't start auspiciously -- he walked the first two batters, but stranded both. He retired the side in the third and fifth, but allowed solo homers to Robinson Chirinos and Jurickson Profar in the fourth and sixth.

"He was behind some guys and his ball-strike ratio wasn't like we normally see it, but he battled and came out of the game and we had a lead," Melvin said. "I was proud of him -- he was grinding on it for a little while and he ended up keeping us in the game."

Video: OAK@TEX: Manaea fans Beltre with 2 men on base

After a stellar April and a subpar May, Manaea wound up with only his second no-decision of the year. In April, Manaea was 4-1 with a 1.00 ERA in five starts, including his no-hitter against the Red Sox on April 21. But in May, he was 1-4 with a 7.18 ERA.

"I thought I threw some really quality pitches [Tuesday]," Manaea said. "I definitely got some outs on the off-speed stuff. Overall, I felt good."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The A's missed another prime scoring opportunity in the top of the seventh, just before the Rangers tied the game. Against reliever Alex Claudio, in for Rangers starter Matt Moore, Chad Pinder led off with a double and took third on a fly ball, Davis was walked intentionally and Olson singled to drive in Pinder for a 4-2 lead. That chased Claudio, and the Rangers brought in Jose Leclerc, who hit Matt Chapman with a pitch to load the bases. But Mark Canha grounded to third and the Rangers got a forceout at home, and then with the bases still full, pinch-hitter Dustin Fowler struck out against Leclerc.

"You like to score one and give yourself a little bit more of a lead, but they made some pretty good pitches, too," Melvin said. "LeClerc, we've had a tough time with him."

Video: OAK@TEX: Kiner-Falefa throws home to nab Davis

SOUND SMART
Davis has 19 homers against the Rangers since the start of 2016, the most by any player against any team over that timeframe. The second-most homers against one team during that span is also Davis, with 17 against Seattle. The Mariners' Nelson Cruz is third with 15 against the A's.

UP NEXT
A's righty Daniel Mengden hopes to continue the hot streak he began early in the season; he has the third-lowest ERA (2.01) in the American League since April 16 and has held opponents to a .210 batting average over that nine-start period. He'll face former Athletic Bartolo Colon, who needs one win to match Juan Marichal for the most in MLB history by a Dominican pitcher (243).

Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com.

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