Athletics 9, Rangers 4

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—Jermaine Dye is healthy again, and he’s already making up for last year’s lost season.

Dye homered twice to drive in four runs, and extended his season-opening hitting streak to eight games, to help power the Oakland Athletics past the Texas Rangers 9-4 Wednesday night.

“I’m just back to normal,” Dye said. “I’m not having to worry about anything, any injuries or anything like. It takes a lot off your mind to just go out there and do what you’re capable of doing.”

With five homers, one more than he had all last season, Dye has the AL lead. He’s hitting .344, and his 12 RBIs also top the league.

Dye was limited to 65 games last season after extended stays on the disabled list for torn cartilage in his right knee and then a separated right shoulder. His .172 average was the lowest in the majors for a player with 200 at-bats, and a franchise worst.

Now he’s looking more like his old self. Maybe even better.

“It’s incredible,” rookie shortstop Bobby Crosby said. “We know how hard he worked in the offseason. You can tell he’s a confident guy.”

Crosby, who replaced former AL MVP Miguel Tejada as the starter, hit his first homer in the fifth, a three-run shot that gave Oakland a 9-1 lead and chased R.A. Dickey (1-1).

Dye’s homers came in consecutive innings and staked the A’s to a 6-0 lead. It was his ninth career multihomer game, the first since hitting two against Texas in September 2002.

Unlike 2002 AL Cy Young winner Barry Zito a night earlier, Mark Redman didn’t need all of his big lead. Redman (1-0) gave up eight hits against the major league’s best hitting team, but scattered them throughout six innings.

“It’s nice to get run support when you don’t have 1-2-3 innings,” said Redman, who won a career-best 14 games last season for World Series champ Florida.

Alfonso Soriano, acquired in the trade that sent Alex Rodriguez to the New York Yankees, hit his first home run for the Rangers, a two-run shot in the fifth that made it 9-3.

Oakland has won four of five against Texas this season. The A’s and Zito held on Tuesday night to win the series opener 10-9.

“After all of those runs yesterday, you have to give Redman some credit,” manager Ken Macha said. “He went out and pitched terrifically. He’s going to give up hits, but he makes pitches when runners are on.”

Dye led off the second with a homer. After Eric Chavez drove in two runs with a single in the third, Dye hit his three-run homer.

“When you’re locked in, you’re locked,” said Dye, who also homered Tuesday. “I’m seeing the ball really well and every time I swing, it’s usually a strike and I’m usually hitting it hard somewhere.”

After Dye’s second homer, Dickey retired eight of the next nine batters. But he got in trouble again in the fifth, allowing a two-out double to Erubiel Durazo and a single to Scott Hatteberg that set up Crosby’s first major league homer.

“I just didn’t command a pitch other than the fastball for a strike, and didn’t really command that well,” Dickey said. “I was fighting my mechanics a little bit. You’ve just got to turn the page.”

Dickey allowed only three unearned runs in seven innings against Anaheim in his first start Friday. He gave up nine runs and nine hits over 4 2-3 innings against the A’s, and all three of his walks came in the five-run third.

Ryan Drese, recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma earlier in the day, then allowed two hits over 4 1-3 scoreless innings. Drese was called up after the Rangers put Mickey Callaway, Tuesday night’s loser, on the 15-day disabled list with nerve inflammation in his right arm.

Chad Harville, who might be sent down to the minors Thursday, worked two innings after Redman left. Ricardo Rincon finished.

Brad Fullmer had a pair of doubles, and scored the Rangers’ first run in thefourth on Gerald Laird’s sacrifice fly.


Oakland is 32-11 against Texas since the start of the 2002 season. … Rangers LF Eric Young was 2-for-3, the fourth time in five games he’s had two hits. He had an RBI groundout in the eighth inning. … SS Michael Young has at least one hit and one run scored in all six home games this season. … Manager Ken Macha said Harville or RHP Justin Duchscherer would be sent down when the A’s make a move before Thursday’s game to recall scheduled starter Rich Hardenfrom Triple-A Sacramento.

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