|Oakland Athletics' Bartolo Colon works against the Texas Rangers in the first inning of a baseball game on Wednesday, June 6, 2012, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)|
Crisp leads Athletics past Rangers 7-1
OAKLAND, Calif.—Coco Crisp hit a solo homer and bases-loaded triple to match his season total for extra-base hits and the Oakland Athletics won their first series in more than a month, beating the Texas Rangers 7-1 on Thursday.
Crisp's big day at the plate helped Brandon McCarthy (5-3) win his fifth straight decision as the A's took three of four from the two-time defending AL champions.
Oakland had lost five straight series and gone winless in nine since beating Tampa Bay two of three May 4-6. But with strong starts from Jarrod Parker, Bartolo Colon and McCarthy and bit more offense than usual, the A's were able to handle the struggling Rangers.
Yu Darvish (7-4) gave up six runs, six hits and six walks in 5 1-3 innings as he failed in his bid to become the first eight-game winner in the American League and the normally powerful Rangers offense was held down once again.
Brandon Moss also homered for Oakland, which outscored first-place Texas 24-8 in the four games. The A's have scored 33 runs in the past six games after having just 32 in the previous 16.
Texas has lost seven of nine games and has been held to two runs or fewer five times in seven games in June, including in all three losses to the A's. The Rangers had been held to two or fewer runs just eight times in the first two months of the season.
The A's lost outfielder Yoenis Cespedes in the first inning to a strained left hamstring going from first to third on Seth Smith's RBI single. Cespedes, who came off the disabled list last week from a hand injury, was replaced by Collin Cowgill. Cespedes is day to day.
Crisp had two doubles and six RBIs in 114 at-bats coming into the game ended a 40-game homerless drought when he took Darvish deep to make it 2-0 in the third.
After Adrian Beltre got Texas on the board with an RBI single in the fourth, the A's took advantage of Darvish's wildness to break the game open with four runs in the bottom half.
Oakland loaded the bases without a hit on one-out walks to Brandon Inge and Moss and a hit batsman to Kurt
That was more than enough support for McCarthy, who retired his final 11 batters in his second start since returning from the disabled list last week from a strained right shoulder. McCarthy allowed one runs and three hits in seven innings to improve to 5-0 with a 2.31 ERA in his past six starts.
NOTES: RHP Tanner Scheppers made his major league debut for the Rangers after being called up to replace LHP Derek Holland, who was placed on the DL because of a fatigued left shoulder. Scheppers allowed one run in 1 2-3 innings. ... The Rangers stay in the Bay Area where they will return to San Francisco to play the Giants for the first time since losing the 2010 World Series. They lost both road games that series and are 0-11 all time in San Francisco. Matt Harrison (7-3) starts the opener against Barry Zito (5-2). ... A's manager Bob Melvin will manage his first game in Arizona since being fired by the Diamondbacks in 2009 when Oakland opens a three-game series with Tommy Milone (6-5) takes on Daniel Hudson (2-1). "I spent some time there and have a lot of good friends there," Melvin said.