OAKLAND (AP) – Cole Irvin and three relievers combined on a four-hitter, Stephen Piscotty homed in his second game back from the COVID-19 injury list, and the Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 2-0 on Sunday to avoid a series of sweeps.
Irvin (2-1) allowed a hit in five innings to win his second decision in a row. The left-handed player did not allow a blow after Marcus Semien’s infield single that led the match out. The semi was erased on a foreout, and Irvin allowed three runners after that – two by step and one by mistake.
Semien, the former A’s infielder who signed a seven-year $ 175 million contract with Texas after a season in Toronto, had two hits for Rangers. He doubled Snead in the eighth.
Zach Johnson hit two crisp innings, Kirby Snead scrapped three batteries, and Dany Jiménez worked out a two-out, two-on jam in the ninth for his third save.
The struggling A’s had scored a run in the first 21 innings against Rangers before Piscotty’s two-run drive from Spencer Howard (0-1) in the fourth. Piscotty made a 2-2 pitch on the left, two batters after Sean Murphy reached on an infield single.
Texas, seeking its first sweep at the Colosseum since 2015, had won four in a row.
Howard, activated from the injury list before the game, was originally scheduled to start before manager Chris Woodward chose to go with Garrett Richards as the opener.
Richards hit two pointless innings in his first start since August 8, 2021. The right-handed player has been used primarily as a reliever for Texas since then.
FINALLY AND BREAK
The A’s played their first 17 games without a day off and get a break on Monday before traveling across San Francisco Bay to face the Giants.
Rangers: RHP Spencer Patton was placed on 10-day IL due to a right oblique strain. … RHP Dennis Santana was reinstated from COVID-19 IL. … RHP Nick Snyder was selected for Triple-A Round Rock.
A’s: 3B Kevin Smith hit a cage and continued to take infield drills while working his way back from a bruise in his left ankle. Smith could begin a rehab assignment within the next week.
A’s: RHP Daulton Jefferies (1-2, 1.17) go up against the Giants on Tuesday. Jefferies has allowed two races or fewer in each of its previous three starts.
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