- Associated Press - Saturday, May 2, 2015

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - The Texas Rangers dominated the Oakland Athletics almost throughout Friday night’s game.

But, oh, that eighth inning.

Mark Canha started and ended Oakland’s seven-run rally and the Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 7-5.

Texas had led 5-0. Colby Lewis pitched six scoreless innings, and Kyle Blanks and Price Fielder hit solo home runs against Oakland starter Scott Kazmir.

Reliever Alex Claudio pitched a perfect seventh, and Rangers manager Jeff Banister thought he had his bullpen set to finish a win.

“We’re rolling the guys out there that we want in the later innings.”

The plan was to have Shawn Tolleson pitch the eighth inning, and closer Neftali Feliz to pitch the ninth.

But Tolleson retired only two of six batters. Roman Mendez (0-1) allowed both batters against him to reach base, so Feliz entered the game early.

Feliz thought he had struck out Brett Lawrie on a 2-2 checked swing. The Rangers appealed, but first base umpire Jordan Baker ruled that Lawrie didn’t swing.

Feliz said, “I saw the video. He swung the bat. He was out.”

Lawrie took Feliz to the ninth pitch, when he lined a two-run double to give the Athletics the lead.

“Lawrie had a fighting at-bat,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “He wasn’t going to be denied there.”

Each team entered the game with six losses in seven games. Texas saw a five-run lead turn into a fourth straight loss.

“There’s never a good loss,” Banister said. “But this is one that stings a little bit.”

Melvin was relieved.

“Any time you win a game that looked like you were going to lose, it gives you some confidence.”

Banister said Canha “ambushed” Tolleson by swinging and hitting a home run on the first pitch of the eighth inning.

Dan Otero (2-1) picked up the win. Tyler Clippard pitched the ninth for his second save in three opportunities.

Lewis looked back and said he could have helped the Rangers avoid the bullpen implosion. He allowed only two hits, but walked two batters.

“Those two-out walks were really frustrating. If I didn’t have those, I probably go out there in the seventh. We didn’t make pitches when we needed to.”

Blanks’ homer was his first hit in four at-bats for Texas since being recalled from Triple-A Round Rock. His most recent major league homer had been on May 31, 2014, when he played for Oakland.

Dan Otero (2-1) picked up the win. Tyler Clippard pitched the ninth for his second save in three opportunities.


Oakland RF Josh Reddick’s two-run single in the eighth stretched his hitting streak to nine games, tying his career high.

Texas’ Elvis Andrus extended his streak to seven games.


Rangers RF Shin-soo Choo ended an 0-for-21 slump with a fourth-inning double. The hit raised his average above .100. He entered the game hitting .375 (6 for 16) against Kazmir.


Athletics: LF Coco Crisp, who hasn’t played this season after elbow surgery on April 3, has joined Class A Stockton on a rehab assignment. Manager Bob Melvin said Crisp was scheduled to take batting practice Friday and Saturday, and play in games Sunday and Monday. He could rejoin Oakland on the current trip that includes stops at Minnesota and Seattle.

Rangers: 1B Mitch Moreland, two days removed from elbow surgery, walked past manager Jeff Banister’s office and showed him a small bandage above the elbow. Banister said, “He was swinging a sledgehammer, so .”


Athletics: LHP Drew Pomeranz (1-2, 4.50) will start the second game of the series. He has lasted only five innings in each of his last three starts. Against Texas he’s 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA in 4 2-3 innings.

Rangers: RHP Nick Martinez (2-0) has a major league-best 0.35 ERA. Texas is 4-0 in his starts, each of those following a loss. Martinez is 2-1, 1.91 in five games against Oakland.

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