Rangers 6, Athletics 1

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—The more baserunners he allowed, the better Chris Young pitched.

Young escaped several jams Tuesday night, leading the Texas Rangers to a 6-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

“I struggled until I got into trouble and then I found the pitches to make,” Young said. “I was mixing my pitches better. I felt that (having runners on) was the only time I pitched well.”

Young (3-2) allowed seven hits but did not give up a run in 5 2-3 innings to earn his third win in his last four starts. He walked three and struck out three, throwing a season-high 112 pitches.

“Chris bent but he didn’t break,” Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. “And the bullpen did a real nice job.”

Alfonso Soriano and Rod Barajas each drove in two runs for the Rangers, who beat the A’s for the second straight day and the eighth time in 11 meetings. They will attempt to complete their first series sweep of the season on Wednesday.

The loss—the seventh time in nine games the A’s have scored three or fewer runs—prompted a closed door meeting in manager Ken Macha’s office which lasted for 57 minutes.

“It’s an internal matter,” Macha said of the delay.

Erubiel Durazo homered and Eric Chavez had two hits for Oakland in the Athletics’ second straight loss.

Soriano, moved out of the leadoff spot Friday against Boston, had two hits in his previous 21 at-bats before singling in two runs during a five-run sixth.

“I was going to wait until I got a pitch in my zone,” Soriano said. “I just wanted to put the ball in play somewhere. I got a pitch over the middle on the first pitch and went after it.”

Young left after giving up a two-out hit to Eric Byrnes that loaded the bases in the sixth. Nick Regilio got Adam Melhuse on a comebacker to end the threat.

“The last time I came in to pitch, I had runners on first and second and didn’t get the job done,” Regilio said. “That bothered me a lot. I don’t like giving up the starter’s runs. This time I just tried to keep the ball down and he rolled over it.”

Ron Mahay—who allowed Durazo’s homer—Doug Brocail and Brian Shouse each pitched an inning to finish off the A’s.

Oakland starter Kirk Saarloos (1-2) took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, retiring the first nine batters he faced, and left after giving up four runs on three hits and four walks in five-plus innings.

“I don’t see much encouraging, I just see a loss,” Saarloos said. “It seemed like every time I looked it was 3-2. Eventually they got me. They did a good job of laying off pitches that were around the zone.”

Saarloos, 0-2 with a 7.58 ERA at home, walked Hank Blalock to load the bases with no outs in the sixth.

Justin Duchscherer replaced Saarloos and allowed Soriano’s single on his first pitch. Duchscherer later hit Richard

Hidalgo with the bases loaded to force in a run. Gary Matthews and Barajas also drove in runs.

Barajas also doubled in a run in the fifth.

Durazo led off the eighth with his third home run of the season, just the second in nine games for the A’s and their fifth at home.

Notes

Rangers outfielder David Dellucci has reached base in all five games in which he has batted in the leadoff position. … A’s outfielder Eric Byrnes is hitting .400 (8-for-20) when batting second and .070 (3-for-43) when batting elsewhere in the order. … The Rangers had two sacrifice flies after hitting three in their first 27 games. … Duchscherer allowed his first earned runs in nine appearances. … The A’s have committed eight errors in their last eight games and have a 3-11 record when making an error.

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