- Associated Press - Monday, March 24, 2014

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) - Mitch Moreland returned to the Texas lineup from a side injury and singled home two runs during a five-run sixth as the Rangers defeated the Oakland Athletics 6-2 Monday.

Moreland had two hits and drew a walk. He had not played since straining his left oblique March 18.

“It’s significant that he’s had good at-bats against everybody,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “It is big that he’s handled left-handers. It looks like the new approach he has, not stepping in the bucket that he’s staying in there pretty good.”

Alex Rios and Robinson Chirinos also contributed RBI singles in the Rangers’ big inning.

Alberto Callaspo went 3 for 3 for the A’s and is 12 for 28 (.429) in his past 10 games. John Jaso singled home a run, giving him eight RBIs in his past eight games.

Rangers right-hander Ryan Feierabend gave up four hits in four scoreless innings.

“I thought he was good,” Washington said. “He held them down to zeros for a pretty good while. He used all his pitches, threw the ball well.”

A’s minor leaguer Sean Murphy limited the Rangers to one single over 4 1-3 scoreless innings in his debut against big league hitters.

“It was definitely nerve-wracking,” Murphy said. “That first inning I was so nervous. When you see a lineup like that, who wouldn’t get a little nervous?”

“It was a blast. I can’t even put it into words. I’m just super pumped right now. Getting big names out is definitely a key, so I’m definitely proud of that. That lineup is super tough,” he said.


A’s: Murphy, a 6-foot-6 righty from Philadelphia who was a 33rd-round pick in 2010, said he had never met manager Bob Melvin before Monday morning.

“I didn’t even know I was starting until I saw the lineup in the major league clubhouse,” Murphy said. “It was my first time actually to be in the major league clubhouse. It felt good to get over there and experience it firsthand.”

Rangers: Feierabend had given up eight hits and two walks to the previous dozen batters he faced in his past two outings. He allowed three hits to the first four Oakland batters he faced, but got out of the inning unscathed thanks to an A’s base-running blunder.


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