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Semien sparks 6-run 9th as A's win 3rd straight

MLB.com @JaneMLB

ARLINGTON -- These A's are here to play, but will they be able to stay?

A 9-4 series-opening victory over the host Rangers at Globe Life Park on Monday, fueled by a six-run ninth inning sparked by Marcus Semien's leadoff homer, gave them their seventh win in their last eight tries.

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ARLINGTON -- These A's are here to play, but will they be able to stay?

A 9-4 series-opening victory over the host Rangers at Globe Life Park on Monday, fueled by a six-run ninth inning sparked by Marcus Semien's leadoff homer, gave them their seventh win in their last eight tries.

View Full Game Coverage

They're rolling, above .500 (12-11) for the first time since winning their opener, after stumbling to a 4-8 start. The A's are hoping to stay afloat with a roaring offense and improved pitching.

"We're playing well," second baseman Jed Lowrie said, "and that's going to be the challenge this year for a young team, is just staying consistent, because it's a long year, and with young, talented players, it's all about consistency at this level. If we can maintain a level of consistency, it'll be fun."

Video: OAK@TEX: Semien rips a go-ahead homer to left

Lowrie reached base three times Monday and tallied two hits. Following Semien's homer to break a 3-3 tie, he beat out an infield single on a reversed ruling after a review, and the insurance runs came pouring in: With two outs, Matt Chapman delivered an RBI triple and scored on another hit by Mark Canha. Matt Olson was intentionally walked, and Jake Smolinski responded with a two-run triple. Jonathan Lucroy capped the busy inning with a run-scoring single.

"That starts the whole thing," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Lowrie's sprint. "That's as fast as I've seen him. … When he can smell a hit, he gets down the line pretty good. He even did a little umpiring over there at first, too, to let me know to challenge it."

"I've been doing a lot of sprints on the treadmill," Lowrie said. "I'm never going to be known as a speed guy, but I've been doing a lot of sprint work, so maybe it's helped."

Video: OAK@TEX: Lowrie reaches safely after review

Semien's solo shot against Rangers reliever Kevin Jepsen was his third homer of the season. He also singled and scored in the third in support of A's starter Trevor Cahill, who worked five innings and allowed three runs in his second start.

Oakland starters have a 3.33 ERA in the last seven games after posting a 5.61 ERA over the first 15 games.

"That really goes along with the psyche of the team," Melvin said. "If a starter goes out there and you have confidence in that starter and feel like he's going to give you outs and put you in position to win, there's a lot more confidence that goes with it. That's the case right now."

The veteran Cahill held the Rangers to just four hits -- among them a game-tying two-run homer to Robinson Chirinos in the fourth. He was also charged with a wild pitch that led to Texas' first run in the third after the A's had given him a 2-0 lead in the top half of the inning.

Video: OAK@TEX: Cahill picks up his sixth K of the night

Khris Davis was responsible, driving in two with a double in the third inning, and the A's tacked on a run in the fourth when Canha doubled and scored on a Chad Pinder base hit.

"We're pitching well, we're hitting pretty good," Semien said. "We were pretty optimistic. We had a lot of injuries coming out of spring, so that was the only problem, but guys have stepped up. Cahill's come in and did a great job."

SOUND SMART
Davis has 41 RBIs in 42 career games against the Rangers and is batting .338 (24-for-71) at Globe Life Park, the third-highest average among active players with at least 70 at-bats, trailing only Miguel Cabrera (.379) and Jason Kipnis (.344).

Video: OAK@TEX: Davis doubles to left, drives in a pair

HE SAID IT
"We put ourselves in a bad position early on, so we've played well since. We felt good coming out of spring with the group that we had. We're just starting to play a little better right now, and it starts with the starting rotation." -- Melvin, on the key to the A's recent run of wins

UP NEXT
Right-hander Andrew Triggs will look to get back on track in a start against the host Rangers on Tuesday. Triggs had allowed no more than two runs in each of his first three starts, before yielding six in 1 1/3 innings against the White Sox in his latest outing. He'll be opposed by Texas lefty Cole Hamels (1-3, 4.76 ERA) in the 7:05 p.m. contest at Globe Life Park.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

Oakland Athletics, Marcus Semien