ARLINGTON -- Nomar Mazara's grand slam helped the Rangers jump out to an 8-0 lead after two innings, and they went on for a 10-5 victory over the Athletics at Globe Life Park on Friday night. The win snapped the Rangers' three-game losing streak and avoided opening the season with four losses at home for the first time since 1991.
Mazara's grand slam came off Athletics starter Raul Alcantara, who lasted just two innings in his first start of the season. Mazara finished the night with a career-high six RBIs, and Rougned Odor also hit a two-run home run, his third of the season.
"I feel pretty good right now," Mazara said. "If I get a good pitch to hit, I'm ready and I put a good swing on the ball."
The Athletics did mount a quick comeback against Rangers starter A.J. Griffin. Matt Joyce hit a three-run home run in the third and Khris Davis hit his third home run leading off the fourth. But Alex Claudio came in for Griffin and pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings in relief to take the momentum out of the Athletics' charge.
Right-hander Jesse Hahn gave Oakland six innings out of the bullpen in his first relief appearance since 2014 with the Padres.
"He saved us," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He went out there in attack mode, knew he was probably going to be out there for a while and made the most of it."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Gomez's wild first: Rangers center fielder Carlos Gomez was all over the place in the first inning. He ran down three fly balls in the top of the inning, including a leaping catch on Joyce's drive in front of the Rangers bullpen in right-center. Gomez led off the bottom of the inning with a blooper that fell into left-center and he used his speed to turn it into a double. Gomez went to third on Shin-Soo Choo's grounder to the right side and scored on Mazara's grounder to first, beating the throw from Yonder Alonso with a head-first slide around the tag. More >
"There are so many positives with a guy like Carlos," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "He is a special player. He loves to play the game of baseball. He jump-starts this team."
Claudio to the rescue: Claudio rescued the Rangers in the fourth, entering an 8-4 game with the bases loaded and one out. Claudio, after falling behind 3-1 in the count, induced Marcus Semien to ground into an inning-ending double play and that was the Athletics' last threat of the night.
"I wanted to throw my sinker," Claudio said. "That's what I was looking for, a double-play ball on a low sinker." More >
GRIFFIN EXITS WITH ABRASIONS
Griffin sustained abrasions on both knees and on the palm of his right hand in the fourth. With runners on first and second, and one out, Alonso lined a single to right. Mazara's throw to the plate sailed wide and past catcher Jonathan Lucroy. Griffin, backing up home, dove after the errant throw trying to keep the runners from advancing and sustained his cuts on the warning track. The runners did not advance but Griffin came out of the game after a visit by trainer Kevin Harmon. Banister already had decided that Griffin's night was finished.
"I feel like I'll make my next start, but we'll see how I bounce back from this one," Griffin said.
WHAT'S NEXT Athletics: The A's will have right-hander Kendall Graveman on the mound for Saturday's 5:05 p.m. PT middle matchup against the Rangers. Graveman, who held the Angels to two runs across six innings in his season debut, is 1-2 with a 6.35 ERA in four career starts against Texas.
Rangers: Right-hander Yu Darvish pitches against the Athletics at 7:05 p.m. CT Saturday. Darvish is 3-9 with a 4.61 ERA in 14 career starts against the Athletics. That's the most losses ever by a Rangers pitcher against Oakland.