The Texas Rangers scored nine late runs to demolish the Oakland Athletics 13-4 at Rangers Park in Arlington on Friday.
Josh Willingham staked the A's to a brief 2-0 lead with a two-run home run in the first inning but Texas wiped out the deficit in the bottom half of the inning, capitalizing on the first of three Oakland errors in the game that led to four unearned runs.
When you make as many errors as we do, you put yourself in a tough situation, especially against teams that can swing the bat, Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. You give them extra outs, usually you get it handed to you. It's frustrating.
A throwing error by A's third baseman Scott Sizemore in the fifth inning allowed Texas to build a 4-2 lead before the Rangers' bats took over in the seventh inning with five consecutive singles adding another four runs.
We swung the bats well tonight, said Rangers designated hitter Michael Young who drove in four runs. We were happy with our offensive approach, and Colby (Lewis) threw a great game. We fed off Colby tonight. He kept getting us back in the dugout.
Hideki Matsui hit a two-run homer to reduce the Rangers' lead to 8-4 but Young hit a three-run double and scored on a two-run homer by Mike Napoli in the next inning to complete the rout.
After a rocky first inning, Rangers starter Colby Lewis settled to pitch 7-1/3 innings allowing three runs while striking out seven for his 12th win of the season.
Maybe I should allow a home run in the first inning every time, Lewis said. Slap me across the face and wake me up. But I felt better as the game went on.
It's all about location, getting ahead in pitcher's counts rather than hitter's counts. Keeping the ball down in the zone.