OAKLAND -- The player known as "Khrush" did just that Friday night. Outfielder Khris Davis delivered two home runs in Friday night's series opener against the Rangers, helping the A's pull out a 3-1 victory at the Coliseum behind right-hander Kendall Graveman to open Players Weekend."I better live up to
OAKLAND -- The player known as "Khrush" did just that Friday night. Outfielder Khris Davis delivered two home runs in Friday night's series opener against the Rangers, helping the A's pull out a 3-1 victory at the Coliseum behind right-hander Kendall Graveman to open Players Weekend.
"I better live up to that name," said a smiling Davis, who has 15 home runs in 26 career games against Texas. "It was fun though. I just like to turn into that character when I'm on the field."
The home runs, giving Davis 36 on the season, spoiled an otherwise impressive outing from Rangers starter Nick Martinez ("Tricky"), as Texas fell two games behind Minnesota for the second American League Wild Card.
The right-handed Martinez, who was recalled from Triple-A earlier in the day, fanned seven and allowed four hits in seven innings, including an RBI single to Matt Chapman ("Chappy") that capped Oakland's two-run seventh.
Graveman ("Digger") earned the win, completing seven innings with one run allowed in a six-strikeout performance. He scattered nine hits, stranding five on base as Texas finished 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
"I was mixing up pitches really well tonight," Graveman said. "We threw the fastball down and away, and I thought our misses were very small tonight. That goes a long way."
Adrian Beltre ("El Koja") brought in Texas' lone run with an RBI single in the first inning.
"We didn't string any hits together," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "I thought Graveman did a good job of making pitches in certain situations. I felt Nick threw the ball very well. We couldn't mount any offense for him."
• Martinez's first start after callup is encouraging
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
"Khrush" delivers first hit: Martinez retired 10 of the first 12 he faced until Davis broke through in a big way with the A's first hit. He "khrushed" a 2-0 fastball over the left-field wall that tied the game at 1-1 in the fourth. Davis, who hit his second home run in the seventh, entered the game with just two hits in his previous 26 at-bats. More >
"Power hitters will go through some funks, but he's always one swing away from doing what he does best," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "For a while there, we have one hit, and it's a home run by him. It's a tied game, and then he hits another home run. So pretty impactful bat. Even when he's struggling, he's a guy we feel like we have to have in there, and he shows you why tonight."
Rangers out two on bases: The Rangers made two critical outs on the bases. Rougned Odor doubled with one out in the second, but then got thrown out trying to go to third after Robinson Chirinos grounded out to third baseman Matt Chapman. Drew Robinson singled with one out in the fifth, but then, running on the pitch, got doubled off on Delino DeShields line out to second baseman Jed Lowrie.
"The play by Odor, not the decision you want to make there," Banister said. "He is already in scoring position. The other, a stolen-base attempt and line-drive out. Not much you can do there."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Chirinos hit his second career triple with two out in the sixth inning. His other triple was on May 19, 2015, against the Red Sox.
Rangers: Left-hander Cole Hamels goes for his fifth straight win when he pitches against the Athletics at 3:05 p.m. CT Saturday at the Coliseum. Hamels has won his last four starts and is 5-0 with a 2.85 ERA in his last six games.
A's: The A's will have left-hander Sean Manaea on the mound for the middle matchup of this three-game set Saturday, with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. PT. Manaea is 1-2 with a 4.97 ERA in five career starts against Texas.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.
Jane Lee** has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.