Tony Gwynn: Early season surprises
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—Mark Teixeira took two quick strikes in his ninth inning at-bat against Huston Street. He never changed his approach against the Oakland closer and after working the count full he finally got a pitch to hit.
Street (1-1) had converted 21 consecutive save chances since last July 10 at the Chicago White Sox. He allowed four runs and five hits in two-third of an inning, both career highs.
“If he hits his spot he probably gets me out,” Teixeira said. “You can’t expand the zone against him. He’s one of the best in the game. I was lucky enough to get a pitch over the plate.”
Michael Young singled to lead off the ninth and then Teixeira spoiled ‘Huston Street Bobblehead Day.’
“You always want to keep a streak going but I’ve blown saves before,” Street said. “It was set up perfect: bobblehead day, Easter Sunday, get a win for (Dan) Haren right there. Now it’s just a blown save.”
“This has been a crazy day,” Rangers’ manager Buck Showalter said. “You think you’re going to get rained out and you have to repack and the next thing you know you get a great win.”
Francisco Cordero (1-1) allowed Oakland to load the bases in the ninth when Jason Kendall singled with two outs, and pinch-hitter Adam Melhuse and Mark Kotsay walked. Cordero retired Nick Swisher on a game-ending flyout.
“We feel like we’re playing better than our record shows,” Barajas said. “To score all those runs in the ninth was great because when you have opportunities to win close games you can’t squander them.”
D’Angelo Jimenez also homered, a drive to right that popped out of Milton Bradley’s glove and over the fence when he collided with the wall. Jimenez stopped between first and second just as first base umpire Jim Wolf signaled the homer.
“I thought it was a home run off the bat,” Haren said. “A lot of guys don’t get to that ball. You can’t fault a guy for going all out.”
Eric Chavez had four hits and three RBIs for Oakland, which has lost five of six. Oakland’s Jay Payton was 0-for-4 and has gone 36 at-bats without driving in a run. He was ejected in the ninth after arguing balls and strikes with plate umpire Ed Rapuano.
“I didn’t say anything vulgar or swear at him,” Payton said. “I just kept telling him he missed it. I didn’t walk away so he threw me out.”
Haren allowed four hits in eight innings, retiring the first 10 batters before Young’s fourth-inning single. He struck out five and walked one.
“Dan did a tremendous job for us,” A’s manager Ken Macha said. “He took us into the ninth. He had the ball sinking and had good movement. It’s a shame for him pitching as well as he did.”
Rangers starter Kameron Loe allowed one run and five hits in a season-high seven innings. The run was unearned because Wilkerson misplayed Bobby Crosby’s two-out single to left in the sixth, allowing Crosby to reach second ahead of Chavez’s double, which put the A’s ahead 1-0.
“I felt the most calm and in control than I’ve ever felt on a major league mound,” Loe said. “I know I belong here and I know I can beat anybody. I felt like I could put it anywhere. I felt confident.”
After Jimenez’s homer tied it in the eighth, Chavez hit a two-run double in the bottom half.
Rangers OF Kevin Mench returned to the lineup after missing four games with turf toe. … Texas RHP Antonio Alfonseca turned 34 Sunday. … Rangers OF-INF Mark DeRosa has missed nine of 11 games with a strained left leg and soreness in his left ankle. … A’s RHP Esteban Loaiza brings a team-high 11.42 ERA into Tuesday’s start against Detroit. His 2.58 ERA and 11 wins against the Tigers are his best against any opponent. … 1B Dan Johnson is batting .031 (1-for-32) on the year. … The Rangers are the only team in the majors who have not used a pinch hitter. … Haren has walked two batters in 21 innings. … Wilkerson has struck out an AL-leading 23 times.