ARLINGTON -- The A's powered their way to a 6-3 victory over the Rangers on Tuesday night, using home runs from Coco Crisp, Josh Reddick and Marcus Semien to even a three-game series at Globe Life Park.
Reddick, who launched a two-run homer in the fourth on the heels of Crisp's leadoff shot, drove in another run in the fifth to finish with three RBIs in support of starter Sonny Gray. The A's right-hander went six innings, allowing all three of his runs in the fifth on a pair of home runs -- first a solo shot by Joey Gallo, the Rangers' top prospect who was promoted ahead of the game, and then a two-run homer off the bat of Mitch Moreland.
Texas right-hander Nick Martinez, also recalled earlier in the day, was responsible for all five A's runs in just four-plus innings. Crisp added an RBI double in the ninth off reliever Sam Dyson's foot to complete Oakland's scoring, as the A's improved to 8-4 since the All-Star break.
"Our pitching's been better, and our lineup's doing things we really haven't done in the past," Reddick said. "We're just stringing hits together, and we used the long ball effectively tonight. It's just about getting our lineup going one through nine and not relying on our 3-4-5 guys every night. We've got guys who can pick up this team at any given moment."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Gray recovers: Gray's latest outing very much encapsulates his season to this point; the right-hander made quick work of the Rangers through the first four innings -- striking out six and not allowing a hit -- before unraveling in the fifth, but only temporarily. Gray yielded five consecutive hits to open the inning, including two home runs, before buckling back down to keep the damage at a minimum. He returned for the sixth and fanned two more in a clean inning, finishing with a season-high eight strikeouts in just his fifth win of the season.
"The first four innings, and even the sixth inning, that's the pitcher who I want to be," Gray said. "That's the pitcher who I've been my whole career, not only in the big leagues but my whole life, and I don't know what it's been this year. It seems like every start there's one inning that gets to me … and to make the pitches that I needed to make there in order to get those guys out was something I hadn't been able to do for a lot of this year."
Rangers' rotation woes continue: Martinez continued what has already been a rough July for Rangers starting pitchers, allowing three home runs. He faced the minimum through the first three innings, but faced 14 batters from that point before exiting with no outs in the fifth. The Rangers' rotation has a 7.43 ERA over its last 20 games, and Cole Hamels is the team's only starting pitcher to pick up a win since June 26.
"I felt the same all four innings, just a couple mistakes there that they capitalized on. I think that was the biggest thing," Martinez said. "I was attacking the zone. I felt good, getting ahead of guys. Again, just three mistakes there that cost me."
What a relief: The A's finished the job they couldn't complete the night before, getting three scoreless innings from their bullpen to secure the victory, despite Ryan Madson and Ryan Dull being unavailable. Oakland carried a lead into the ninth inning of Monday's opener before Adrian Beltre greeted Madson with a walk-off, two-run home run. This time, right-hander Liam Hendriks worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings with three strikeouts, Marc Rzepczynski recorded a pair of outs, and John Axford got the final two to close it out.
"That was a really good win for us coming back from a difficult [loss] last night," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "There were a lot of ingredients tonight. Guys getting big outs they normally don't have to get in those situations. Good stuff tonight."
Odor hosed at secondRougned Odor got the Rangers' first hit of the game to lead off the fifth with the team trailing, 5-0, a single to right field. But Odor was thrown out by Reddick by a few steps at second trying to stretch the hit into a double. Gallo then launched his first homer of the season as the very next hitter.
"Obviously a little more aggressive than we like it, based on the result of the play," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "Does the inning stay the same with [Odor] standing at first base? Who's to say. Gray may pitch a little differently there."
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Gallo's opposite-field home run in the fifth traveled an estimated 448 feet, per Statcast™. It was the second longest home run at Globe Life Park this season. Nomar Mazara's 491-foot home run on May 25 remains the longest home run at Globe Life Park, and in the Majors, this season.
WHAT'S NEXT A's: The A's will close out their three-game series at Globe Life Park with left-hander Sean Manaea on the mound Wednesday. Manaea is 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in two starts against the Rangers this season. First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m. PT.
Rangers: Right-hander Yu Darvish will start for the Rangers in the finale of the three-game set at 7:05 p.m. CT on Wednesday at Globe Life Park. He has struck out 20 batters through two starts (10 1/3 innings) since being reinstated from the 15-day disabled list on July 16.