Bowen homers from both sides and A’s beat Rangers 6-3
Bowen had only 10 at-bats and four starts for the A’s entering Wednesday’s game, and he’s been anxious for more action.
“It feels good to get out there,” Bowen said. “It’s been tough moving around. I’ve gotten into a routine and I’m beginning to feel comfortable.”
With the game tied at 3, Bowen homered leading off the seventh against reliever A.J. Murray (0-1) to break a 3-for-39 slump. It was Bowen’s first homer and RBI since he was acquired by Oakland in a trade with the Chicago Cubs on July 16.
It was the sixth time an Oakland player homered from both sides. Nick Swisher was the last on April 23, at Baltimore.
“Both pitches were fastballs,” Bowen said. “I just tried to get into hitter’s counts and got good pitches to hit.”
Bowen grew up in nearby Bedford and went to Rangers games as a child before moving to Indiana. He visited his old house earlier Wednesday.
“I was a Rangers fan,” he said. “I watched Nolan (Ryan) and Pudge (Rodriguez) in the old Arlington Stadium.”
Murray got the call because C.J. Wilson, the Rangers’ top lefty reliever, pitched 1 1-3 innings Tuesday night. Wilson hasn’t allowed a hit in his last 9 2-3 innings, but manager Ron Washington didn’t want to overextend Wilson.
Murray, who gave up one run and one hit in 2-3 of an inning, said the pitch to Bowen was a mistake.
“I got behind and left a fastball up,” Murray said. “I tried to make a perfect pitch instead of sticking with my game plan.”
DiNardo (6-6) allowed eight hits, struck out four and walked three. He is 2-1 in six career appearances, three starts, against Texas with a 2.19 ERA.
DiNardo needed the homer by his catcher, Bowen, to get the win.
“Rob was able to pick me up,” DiNardo said. “It’s the first time Rob has caught me. He did an outstanding job. Tonight was an example of what he’s capable of.”
Alan Embree got three outs for his 14th save in 17 opportunities.
Mark Ellis went 2-for-4 and is 17-for-40 against Texas this season.
Brad Wilkerson homered for the Rangers, who have lost six of seven.
Texas tied it in the second on Jason Botts’ RBI single.
The Rangers drew even in the fifth when Ian Kinsler walked and Wilkerson followed with his 17th homer.
Millwood left after six innings with the game tied. He allowed three runs and five hits, struck out six and walked four.
Millwood has been slumping, losing four of his last five decisions, and he felt Wednesday night’s effort was an improvement.
“I feel like a made a major step today,” Millwood said. “I felt I was a lot better. There were two innings when I wasn’t real good but overall I felt like I gave us a chance.”
It was 94 degrees when the game started. … Murray had his first major league decision. … Adam Melhuse, normally a catcher, started at 3B for the first time as a Ranger. He has 11 career appearances at the position. Melhuse, acquired from Oakland in a trade on June 9, made a diving stop and threw out Dan Johnson in the second. … The A’s have won six of nine. … 3B Eric Chavez visited a local doctor before the game and said he has a bulging disk in his back. Chavez, who went on the 15-day DL on Friday, said he has been advised to rest for two weeks and then be re-evaluates.