Texas' big blasts sink A's, swell AL West lead

Texas' big blasts sink A's, swell AL West lead

OAKLAND -- Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre hit a pair of three-run home runs, Rougned Odor had a solo shot and starter Colby Lewis earned his 17th win as the Rangers continued to widen their lead in the American League West with a 10-3 victory over the Athletics on Wednesday.

The Rangers, with their eighth win in the their last 10 games, now have a three-game lead over the Astros in the division. They have a four-game lead in the loss column with 12 games to play and their magic number is down to eight.

"We're playing well at one of the most crucial times of the year," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "They have learned how to win games. These guys really believe in playing their game. Whether Houston won or lost, they don't focus on the standings. I'm proud of that. It is a mindset, they've got to stay focused."

Lewis won his third straight by holding the Athletics to two runs in six innings. He has allowed four runs in his last 21 innings and is 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA in five starts against the Athletics this season. A's starter Felix Doubront fell to 0-6 in his career against the Rangers, allowing seven runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings.

"Another quality start by Colby," Banister said. "When he goes out there and gets early count strikes and early count outs, he is in control. One of the better starts by Colby."

Lewis notches 17th win

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Andrus crushes seventh: Andrus set a new career best with his seventh homer of the season when he hit a three-run shot in the fourth inning. He hit six as a rookie in 2009 and just two last year. The home run was projected by Statcast™ to land 419 feet away as it went out deep to left-center and it was the first three-run home run of his career. More >

"I knew when I hit the ball it was going a long way," Andrus said. "I saw it in the gap and I saw it was flying. I hit it good."

Andrus' three-run dinger

Butterfingers: A's right fielder Josh Reddick endured his first career two-error game after 626 games spanning 6,003 innings without one. Reddick first bobbled Mitch Moreland's RBI single, giving him no chance to get Beltre at the plate and allowing Prince Fielder to advance to third ahead of Andrus' three-run blast. In the next inning, Reddick couldn't get a handle on a line-drive double off the bat of Delino DeShields, who ended up at third base on the play. Shin-Soo Choo walked, and that's when Beltre launched a three-run homer to left field.

Moreland's RBI single

Reddick hit his own homer in the sixth, a solo shot for his 20th of the season, but he was lamenting the errors after the game.

"The first one, I just got too aggressive with the conditions of the field, but I should know better than that and experienced it last night when a ball jumped hard right on me," he said. "I think I came in too hot. And it's been getting to me, I haven't thrown anybody out this year it feels like, so that could be a part of it. The second one I just botched really bad. Came on too quick trying to get Delino at second and just got too far ahead of myself."

Reddick's no-doubter

Lewis strikes out Valencia: Lewis had a defining moment in the third when the Athletics took a 1-0 lead on a leadoff walk to Brett Lawrie and singles by Eric Sogard and Carson Blair. Billy Burns' bunt moved runners to second and third but Lewis shut the door. Mark Canha lined out softly to Odor at second and, after Reddick walked, Lewis struck out Danny Valencia to end the inning.

"My big thing is I don't want to pitch around anybody," Lewis said. "We felt if we could get ahead of Reddick, go after him. If not, if we fell behind, try to make a pitch he could chase. With Valencia it was righty on righty so I stuck with my slider and it allowed me to make good pitches down and away."

A's set record: Burns' two-out triple in the fifth inning gave the A's 41 on the season, an Oakland record. The previous high of 40 was set in 1968. Burns, who nearly tried for an inside-the-park home run when right fielder Choo had trouble getting the ball as it danced around the visiting bullpen chairs, is responsible for nine of the club's triples.

Burns' record-setting triple

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Beltre's three-run home run gives him 22 RBIs for the month of September, the most in the American League.

Sogard's seventh-inning home run was his first of the season and snapped a career-long 457 at-bat homerless streak.

WHAT'S NEXT
Rangers: Left-hander Cole Hamels pitches against the Athletics at 2:35 p.m. CT Thursday in Oakland. Hamels is 4-0 with a 3.12 ERA in his last seven starts and the Rangers have won all seven. This is his first start against the Athletics since 2011.

A's: Right-hander Chris Bassitt, who has been sidelined by shoulder soreness in recent weeks, will take the mound for his first start since Aug. 26, as the A's close out a three-game series at the Coliseum. First pitch is scheduled for 12:35 p.m. PT.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.