Lawrie's slam powers Athletics past Rangers
ARLINGTON -- Brett Lawrie hit a first-inning grand slam and Josh Phegley hit a two-run homer in the second, as the A's pounced on Rangers starter Wandy Rodriguez for eight runs in the first two innings en route to an 8-2 victory on Wednesday night.
"I was just looking for something soft and anything up in the zone that I could hopefully put a barrel on and thankfully enough, I put some good wood on it," Lawrie said. "It's just good that we got a team win. That's the biggest thing, we could put up some runs early there."
Oakland, which finished with 14 hits, has won the first two in the three-game set at Globe Life Park.
Stephen Vogt was responsible for three of those hits, driving in a run in each of his first two at-bats to bring his season RBI total to 53, which leads the American League. Lawrie also finished with three hits, as did rookie sensation Billy Burns, who doubled twice and extended his hitting streak to a career-high 14 games.
Carlos Corporan notched a two-run double in the fifth inning, but that's all the Rangers would get against A's right-hander Kendall Graveman, who went seven innings in Oakland's fourth consecutive win. Texas has dropped four in a row.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Hit parade: The A's batted around in the first inning, starting with a double from the red-hot Burns, to set the tone for yet another big offensive night. Oakland has scored 70 runs over the last 10 games, getting 29 doubles along the way. Lawrie's grand slam was the third of his career, but his first with the A's, and it marked his seventh home run of the season. Phegley has two in this series. More >
Wandy's run ends: Rodriguez's ugly first two innings ended a streak of six consecutive Rangers wins in his starts. It also ended a run of six straight starts in which Rodriguez allowed three earned runs or fewer. Rodriguez was pulled after four innings, having allowed eight earned runs on 11 hits and three walks. He also struck out four. Anthony Bass pitched four innings of two-hit relief, but the damage was already done. More >
Graveman in control: Graveman, who completed six innings just once in his first five starts, has tossed seven or more innings and allowed two runs or fewer in each of his last four starts. The right-hander faced just one over the minimum through his first four innings on Wednesday, before allowing two runs in the fifth. He came back to strike out the side in the sixth, working around a pair of baserunners, and departed after seven-plus innings with eight hits and two walks allowed with four strikeouts. More >
"I think there's a few adjustments we've made to get deeper into games," Graveman said, "and I think it's also a mental thing, just to be able to go out there in the fifth or sixth and say, 'Hey, I need to go one or two more.'"
Lone bright spot: Corporan's fifth-inning double was the only big hit of the night for the Rangers. It scored Joey Gallo and Elvis Andrus, who both reached on singles, and moved Corporan's RBI total to 13. The Rangers scored fewer than four runs for the 16th time in their last 20 games, and they stranded seven baserunners on Wednesday.
RANGERS LOSE CHALLENGE
With two on and two out in the bottom of the fifth, A's shortstop Marcus Semien backhanded a Ryan Rua ground ball in the hole and threw to Ben Zobrist at second, where a sliding Rougned Odor was called out. The Rangers challenged, but the call was ruled as stands after a 2-minute, 35-second review.
"Huge, no doubt," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "What I saw today, plays that are so close that look like a tie or bang-bang, it's tough to overturn them, and you're hoping because Prince is up there and with one swing of the bat it could be [8-5]. One went our way even though I think what we've seen out of replay it should have gone our way. In theory."
Athletics: Ace Sonny Gray, who leads the American League with a 1.95 ERA, will be on the mound for Thursday's series finale at Globe Life Park. First pitch is set for 11:05 a.m. PT.
Rangers: Right-hander Colby Lewis, who is 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA in two starts against Oakland this season, gets the ball on Thursday at 1:05 p.m. CT.
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