Nick Swisher hit a go-ahead home run in the sixth inning after Oakland rallied from a six-run deficit, and the Athletics beat the Rangers 11-9 Friday night.
“Regardless of where we are in the standings we’re going to keep coming out and playing hard,” Swisher said. “It’s great that we still have some emotion. It was a rough start but we came back. We came back twice.”
Oakland trailed 6-0 in the third, then scored twice in the bottom half and went ahead with seven runs in the fifth, the final run scoring on Donnie Murphy’s squeeze bunt.
“That’s my first one in the big leagues,” Murphy said. “I was happy to get the sign because I’ve been struggling. I know I’m a good bunter, and I know we had to score as many runs as we could since those guys can swing it.”
Sosa tied it 9-9 with a three-run homer off Santiago Casilla in the sixth, but Swisher put Oakland ahead to stay with a solo shot against John Rheinecker (2-2) in bottom half, Swisher’s 21st home run of the season. Kurt Suzuki added an RBI single off Wes Littleton.
Sosa reached 20 homers for the first time since 2004 and the 13th time in his big league career.
“I fight for my at-bats and keep my mouth shut,” said Sosa, who has had just 105 at-bats since the All-Star break. “I just go out and take care of business. I try to stay focused and patient. It shows I have something left in this body, and I may get another year or two.”
“Brown came in and was ready to throw strikes,” Suzuki said. “When someone can stop the bleeding and give the defense a break, it also gives the offense a chance to get rolling.”
Sosa entered with a .179 batting average at Oakland, his lowest at any current major league park. He hit a two-run single in the third before the homer, his first in Oakland since Sept. 18, 1990, for the Chicago White Sox against Mike Moore.
Daric Barton’s first major league homer, a two-run drive, started Oakland’s comeback.
“They have been challenging me, and I’m always looking for something up in the zone,” Barton said. “I’m still nervous, but my comfort zone is good enough to have some good at-bats. Fortunately, I’ve gotten a few hits.”
A’s starter Dan Meyer gave up six runs, five hits and three walks in 2 2-3 innings. He’s allowed 12 runs—nine earned—over 6 2-3 innings in two starts.
“We can play all night as long as we win,” A’s manager Bob Geren said. “It was the prettiest win but after the way we started so poorly, it feels good.”
Rangers starter Kason Gabbard, who missed his previous turn due to a blister, walked a career-high seven in four-plus innings, allowing seven runs and five hits. He has a 6.33 ERA on the road and 2.79 at home.
“Usually he’s around the edge but he usually makes his pitches,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “This time he had some problems with his control.”
The Rangers are the only AL team without a complete game. … Meyer threw 41 of 73 pitches in the third inning. … Barton has four multihit games among his first five in the majors. … Young is 17 hits shy of becoming just the sixth player since 1900 to record five consecutive 200-hit seasons. … The five RBIs moved Sosa into a tie with Frank Thomas (1,663) for 22nd on the career list, 32 behind Cal Ripken Jr. … Casilla became 370th pitcher to allow a Sosa homer. … Gabbard has walked 13 and struck out 30 at home, while walking 28 and striking out 25 on the road.