Rangers hit four home runs in 16-9 win over A’s
OAKLAND – Rookie Mitch Moreland was too busy working on his approach at the plate to bother worrying about making the playoff roster. He gave the Texas coaching staff something to ponder, though.
Moreland homered twice and drove in a career-high five runs, leading the AL West champion Texas Rangers past Trevor Cahill and the Oakland Athletics 16-9 Sunday.
“I’m just happy to be here,” Moreland said. “I just want to enjoy this incredible season with this group of guys. If they need me for the postseason, I’ll be ready.”
David Murphy hit a two-run homer and Jeff Francoeur added a solo shot as the Rangers won their third straight game. A day after clinching the division, Texas rested many of its regulars and still got a season-high 22 hits.
“I think we’ve all been pressing a little bit,” said Moreland, who was 4-for-25 with 11 strikeouts over his last eight games. “It was easier to relax today after we had everything wrapped up. I’ve been working hard the past couple of days and I got a few pitches and was able to barrel them up.”
The Rangers led 9-1 before Oakland scored six times in the eighth. Texas came back with seven runs in the ninth to pull away.
Colby Lewis (12-13) gave up one run and six hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out six. Lewis won for the third time in his last four starts and has a 2.16 ERA in that span.
“From Day One I’ve just tried to go out and make a quality start every time,” Lewis said. “Now I want to stay in rhythm and keep my pitch count up.”
Lewis is set to start Game 3 in the first round of the playoffs. Cliff Lee will pitch the opener, followed by C.J. Wilson.
Cahill (17-8) failed to become the A’s first 18-game winner in nine years on his first try. He gave up seven runs and a career-high 12 hits over four innings.
“I made some good pitches and they those and I made some mistakes and they hit those,” Cahill said. “It was one of those days I didn’t have my stuff. I wasn’t sharp and they were just crushing me.”
Moreland hit a three-run homer and a two-run drive. Francoeur had three hits.
Steve Tolleson hit his first major league homer, a three-run shot in the eighth for the A’s. Matt Carson homered in the ninth and Rajai Davis had four hits.
“You get behind by a big margin and you want to give the regulars a little break,” A’s manager Bob Geren said. “The guys I put in the game were the ones who had the great game and got us within two after eight.”
Cahill had won 11 of his previous 13 decisions at home, and his 1.63 ERA at home was the lowest in the majors.
“Nothing seemed to work for him,” Geren said.
Jorge Cantu had three hits for Texas, Moreland was in an 0-for-9 slump before his third-inning home run and Julio Borbon is 11 for 21 during his current six-game hitting streak.
“To have these other guys step up and do the job shows what type of team this is,” Lewis said.
Moreland hit a three-run homer, Francoeur hit a two-run single, Esteban German singled home a run and Murphy walked to force home a run as the Rangers pulled away in the ninth.
Notes: German recorded his first major league hit since last October. … A’s IF Kevin Kouzmanoff ended an 0-for-12 slump which his career-best 32nd double. … Cahill entered the game with a career 6-1 record and 1.55 ERA against Texas in eight starts. … Oakland OF Chris Carter missed the game with a sore left thumb. … Left-handed hitters are 0 for 15 against Rangers LHP Clay Rapada. … Moreland recorded his first career multihomer game. … The 22 hits allowed tied an A’s opponent record in a nine-inning game.