Piazza lifts Oakland Athletics past the Texas Rangers 9-7 in 13 innings
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—Mike Piazza helped put an end to a wild game that included a huge comeback, ejections and a whole lot of strikeouts.
Piazza singled in the go-ahead run in the 13th inning and seven Oakland pitchers combined for 21 strikeouts in a 9-7 victory over the Texas Rangers on Monday night.
“It became a war of attrition,” Piazza said. “It went back and forth and fortunately, we punched a couple of runs across. This was definitely a tough game.”
Young and Texas manager Ron Washington were ejected two innings later for arguing a called third strike.
“In this ballpark we have a history of games just like this,” Oakland manager Bob Geren said. “These high-scoring games, you can never get a big enough lead, and this was another one.”
Rob Bowen led off the 13th with a walk and Travis Buck sacrificed. Willie Eyre (3-5), who started two days ago against Toronto, got Shannon Stewart to foul out before intentionally walking Nick Swisher.
Piazza, who is the subject of trade rumors after clearing waivers, then lined a single to right. It was Oakland’s first hit since the fifth inning.
“I think I’ve cleared waivers before,” said Piazza, who can now be traded to any team. “It’s not the first time. That stuff is out of my control. I just want to show up at the field and just get quality work in.”
Mark Ellis drove in another run in the 13th with an infield single on a close play at first.
A fan threw a plastic water bottle in the direction of first after Ellis was called safe. Oakland first base coach Tye Waller immediately pointed toward the fan, who was ejected.
Andrew Brown (2-0) struck out five in two innings. Calero pitched the 13th to earn his first save in four chances, striking out Byrd with runners on the corners to end it.
Byrd struck out twice, part of the Rangers’ club-record total. Ramon Vazquez fanned four times and three players had three strikeouts.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia went 1-for-6 with three Ks in his first home game with Texas since he was acquired last week from Atlanta.
Young hit his fifth homer of the season and first since May 6—a span of 77 games and 317 at-bats. He went 3-for-4 and reached base five times before he and Washington were ejected.
Young was called out on strikes and tossed by plate umpire Bill Miller for arguing. Washington charged out of the dugout to defend Young and was quickly booted himself.
“I don’t think he earned that strike,” Washington said. “(Miller) gave me a lesson on the strike and I gave him my opinion. He then gave me the rest of the night off.”
Young did not comment on exactly what he told Miller.
“I disagreed with the call,” Young said. “He didn’t like the way I said it. That was it.”
Embree had retired the last 22 batters he faced over his last seven appearances. It was his third blown save in 16 chances.
Scutaro’s first career grand slam and Donnie Murphy’s solo homer helped Oakland score six times in the first inning. The A’s scored all their runs in the first with two outs.
But the Rangers battled back. Sammy Sosa hit a two-run single and Byrd drove in a run with a base hit in the third. Jason Botts hit a two-run drive for his first homer of the season and Ian Kinsler’s RBI groundout made it 7-6 in the eighth.
“We ended up playing 13 innings and it easily could have done after nine,” Washington said.
Buck was hit by a pitch on the left wrist in the third inning and stayed in the game. … Piazza finished with three hits.