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Chirinos, Odor hit 2 HRs to lift Texas over A's

June 16, 2016

OAKLAND -- Robinson Chirinos and Rougned Odor enjoyed two-homer games, the former belting his second in the seventh off reliever John Axford for the go-ahead shot that propelled the Rangers to a 7-5 victory over the A's at the Coliseum on Wednesday night.It was the second career multi-homer game and

OAKLAND -- Robinson Chirinos and Rougned Odor enjoyed two-homer games, the former belting his second in the seventh off reliever John Axford for the go-ahead shot that propelled the Rangers to a 7-5 victory over the A's at the Coliseum on Wednesday night.
It was the second career multi-homer game and first since Aug. 5, 2014, for Chirinos, whose first home run off Sonny Gray in the sixth highlighted a game-tying, five-run inning that erased Gray's shutout. Odor also hit a two-run homer in the frame, launching his second in the eighth against Sean Doolittle for his first career two-homer contest.
"It's not that easy," Chirinos said. "This team, we never give up. It was already the sixth inning, but we go out there every pitch and try to compete and put runs on the board. Everybody contributed to help us come back and win this game. Everyone fought hard to win this one."
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"Up until that [sixth] inning, as good of stuff as we've seen all year from Sonny," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "Incrementally better each time out since he's come off the DL, and that was the best stuff we've seen since then. He was in command, he was throwing everything for strikes. You're counting pitches to see if he can get all the way through the game, so it was a little bit startling."
The A's scored five times against Rangers starter Derek Holland, totaling four hits off the left-hander in 3 2/3 innings, including a two-run home run off the bat of outfielder Jake Smolinski. Billy Burns chipped in with two doubles, his second resulting in two runs in the fourth.
Chirinos sparks rally:
The Rangers had just three singles in the first five innings. But Chirinos led off the sixth with the first of his two home runs. That seemed to bring the Rangers to life as they scored five to tie the game. Odor finished the rally with a two-run home run.
"Chirinos home run … it really instilled energy in the dugout," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "It woke things up." More >

Gray stumbles in sixth: Gray carried a shutout into the sixth inning, having limited the Rangers to just three hits to that point, before offering up just as many to his first three batters, while struggling to get the ball down. The right-hander has yet to showcase consistency this season, exiting his latest outing with a 5.54 ERA -- just seven months after finishing third in American League Cy Young voting. Gray entered the game with a 1.92 ERA in 10 career starts against the Rangers.
"I felt great," Gray said. "And then they started swinging early and I left some pitches up and they didn't really miss. Every single ball they hit was hit pretty hard. I'm just going to have to start mixing my pitches a little better later in the game and hopefully that will be something that will help me in the long run." More >

Martinez returns with win: Rangers reliever Nick Martinez earned the victory in his first appearance since being called up from Triple-A Round Rock. Martinez entered the game with two on and two out in the fourth and gave up a single to Burns. Two runs scored on the play, helped by Ian Desmond's error in center, but Martinez shut the rally down and pitched two more scoreless innings to get the win. It was his first career win as a reliever.
"It definitely feels good," Martinez said. "I want to show these guys I can pitch in different roles. I just stayed on the attack."
Smolinski stays hot: Smolinski, making his fourth consecutive start in right field for the A's, greeted Holland with a two-run home run in his first at-bat of the night, not only giving Oakland a lead against his former team, but extending his hitting streak to a career high-tying six games. In that span, he's 8-for-16, taking advantage of the playing time afforded by an injured Josh Reddick's absence. More >

"I'm happy we won but it's frustrating. I pitched terrible. It's unacceptable. I just need to get my stuff ready to go." -- Holland
Odor leads the Rangers with 12 home runs, breaking a four-way tie at 10 that he shared with Mitch Moreland, Adrian Beltre and Nomar Mazara. The only second baseman to lead the Rangers in home runs was Ian Kinsler, who tied Beltre with 32 in 2011.

The Rangers won a challenge with one out in the sixth. Smolinski was ruled safe on a slow grounder when Jurickson Profar's throw pulled first baseman Moreland off the bag. But a replay showed Moreland maintaining contact as he caught the ball and the call was overturned.

Rangers: Right-hander Colby Lewis starts for the Rangers at 2:35 p.m. CT Thursday against the Athletics at the Coliseum. Lewis is 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA in six road starts. That's the lowest road ERA in the American League.
A's: The A's will close out this four-game series against the Rangers with rookie Daniel Mengden on the mound for Thursday's 12:35 p.m. PT finale. The right-handed Mengden made his big league debut in Cincinnati on Saturday, allowing two runs on six hits with four walks and five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.
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Jane Lee has covered the A's for since 2010.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for since 2006. Listen to his podcast.