A's offense brings 'A' game in rout of Rangers

A's offense brings 'A' game in rout of Rangers

OAKLAND -- Three-run home runs from Khris Davis and Josh Phegley highlighted the A's offensive outburst in Monday's 14-5 rout of the American League West-leading Rangers in the opener of a four-game series at the Coliseum.

Shin-Soo Choo, Ryan Rua and Mitch Moreland homered for the Rangers, who got just 3 2/3 innings from lefty starter Cesar Ramos. Pitching in place of Yu Darvish, who went on the DL prior to the game with tightness in his shoulder and neck, Ramos was on the hook for eight runs (six earned) on eight hits and five walks. Right-hander Tom Wilhelmsen was also responsible for six runs in one-plus inning of work, as the A's sent 26 men to the plate in innings three through five.

"Five walks were problematic for Cesar," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "He's a strike-thrower most of the time, and he couldn't find the range with his pitches."

Ramos has rough night filling in for Darvish

"I think hitting is contagious," A's outfielder Jake Smolinski said. "We were on a roll tonight, and we kept it rolling throughout the whole game."

Oakland's decisive victory, which came with a season high in runs, was offset by injury news: Rookie starter Sean Manaea exited in the fifth inning with a strained pronator muscle in his forearm. Manaea allowed two runs on four hits, including Choo's home run, before his departure.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Offensive outpouring: After managing just 21 runs during their eight-game road trip through Houston, Milwaukee and Cincinnati -- an average of 2.6 runs per game -- the A's returned home and busted out for a season-high-tying 17 hits, getting at least two from seven starters, including three each from shortstop Marcus Semien and Smolinski. Davis, who now has 15 home runs on the season, finished with two hits and five RBIs.

"Just feeding off that momentum as far as good at-bat after good at-bat is what we want offensively," Davis said. "It was exciting." More >

A's five-run 4th inning

Profar error costly: Rangers third baseman Jurickson Profar, with one on and one out, prolonged the Athletics' third inning by fumbling Danny Valencia's sharp grounder for an error. It could have been an inning-ending double play, leaving the Athletics with a 1-0 lead. Instead, Davis followed with a three-run home run and the Athletics added one more run before the inning was over for a 5-0 lead.

"Major League pitchers cover for mistakes," Banister said. "Those things happen. We would like to make that play, but we didn't. This is a game where you pick each other up."

Choo goes deep: Choo returned to the Rangers' lineup and hit his first home run of the season, launching a 3-2 fastball over the center-field fence with one out in the fifth off Manaea. It was the final pitch Manaea threw on the night.

Choo's solo homer in the 5th

"To be able to put his name in the lineup ... He's a guy we know is going to be a force in our lineup," Banister said. "It was nice to see, he was moving around well in the outfield."

Wilhelmsen can't close door: The Rangers are hoping Wilhelmsen can become a reliable member of their bullpen, but he is having trouble fulfilling their hopes. Wilhelmsen entered a 6-1 game in the fourth with two on and two out. Billy Butler hit his first pitch for an RBI single, and Phegley followed with a three-run home run. The Athletics scored four more off him in the fifth.

"It was tough for Tom," Banister said. "He couldn't get anything past the hitters or get anything hit at anybody."

HOLADAY DEBUTS IN LEFT
Rangers catcher Bryan Holaday made his first professional appearance in the outfield, playing the final three innings in left field, with Rua moving to center. The move gave the Rangers a chance to give Ian Desmond a little rest without using Nomar Mazara, who was getting a day off. Holaday had no trouble with a routine fly ball in the eighth as his only chance.

"It was fun," Holaday said. "You've got to catch the balls hit to you. I knew I was going to get one eventually."

Holaday plays the outfield

WHAT'S NEXT
Rangers: Left-hander Martin Perez pitches against the Athletics at 9:05 p.m. CT on Tuesday at the Coliseum. Perez has lost nine straight decisions on the road, one short of tying for the longest streak in club history.

A's: Left-hander Eric Surkamp will be recalled from Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday for a 7:05 p.m. PT start against the Rangers at the Coliseum. This will be Surkamp's fourth stint of the season with Oakland.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. 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.