Young’s slam gives Rangers an 11-9 victory over A’s in game featuring bench-clearing brawl

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—Nick Swisher and Vicente Padilla didn’t say much after their fight led to a bench-clearing brawl.

Michael Young? He let his bat do the talking.

Young drove in a career-high seven runs, including a go-ahead grand slam in the eighth, and the Texas Rangers beat the Oakland Athletics 11-9 on Sunday in a game that began with Swisher and Padilla going at it near the mound.

“I have no reaction,” Swisher said. “I just went out there and did what I had to do.”

Swisher, who hit a home run in each of the first three games of the series, tackled Padilla after getting hit in the first inning. Oakland second baseman Jack Hannahan dived into the pile and A’s manager Bob Geren got into a heated argument with the umpires.

“How many times can one team hit you in a row?” Geren said. “The guy hits three home runs—make better pitches. You don’t hit him.”

Swisher was hit by Bill White in the seventh inning on Saturday and glared out at the mound as the umpires issued a warning to both teams. The precaution evidently didn’t carry over.

“We go inside on him and he hits a home run. We go outside on him and he hits a home run,” Rangers catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. “I’m sure he was frustrated about getting hit yesterday. I can see that.”

Second base umpire Tim Timmons was bumped to the ground during the fray, and plate umpire Chuck Meriwether wasted little time in tossing Padilla and Swisher, who had to be restrained by catcher Kurt Suzuki and several teammates. Nobody else was ejected.

“I was upset when they ejected Padilla and I made that known,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “You have to pitch inside to everything. Did I put a hit out on Swish? No.”

Swisher’s teammates backed Washington.

“I know it wasn’t from Wash,” A’s second baseman Mark Ellis said. “I know that for a fact. You have to ask the guys throwing the pitches. When you keep getting hit over and over again, sooner or later you have to do something.”

John Rheinecker (3-2) pitched 2 2-3 innings, retiring eight of the nine hitter he faced, to earn the victory. He allowed one hit and struck out three. Joaquin Benoit got the final four outs for his fifth save in nine chances.

“Rheinecker really eased the pain,” Washington said.

Saltalamacchia led off the eighth with a single and Andrew Brown (3-3) walked pinch hitter Frank Catalanotto and Brad Wilkerson to load the bases. Young then drove an 0-1 delivery over the center field fence for his third career slam.

Kurt Suzuki doubled twice and drove in two runs and Ellis had three RBIs, including a two-run homer, as the A’s had their three-game winning streak snapped. Hannahan had three hits for Oakland.

Padilla lasted two hitters, and both runners scored. A’s starter Lenny DiNardo was gone during the second inning.

“I was definitely in a different mental state in the second inning,” DiNardo said. “We were in a fighting mode. My first instinct was to go out and hit the first batter. The umpires and coaching staff told me just to throw strikes and I didn’t do a good job of that.”

Swisher was thrown out for the first time in his career while Padilla was ejected for the second time.

“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind it was intentional,” DiNardo said of Padilla’s pitch.

DiNardo lasted 1 2-3 innings for the second straight start. He gave up five runs and two hits, with four walks and a strikeout.

Young and Sosa each drove in two runs during the Rangers’ six-run rally in the second. Brad Wilkerson and Nelson Cruz also drove in runs.

“I try to keep everything simple and look for something to hit,” Young said.

Ellis’ homer highlighted a five-run third to put the A’s ahead 7-6. Suzuki, Jeff DaVanon and Barton also drove in runs.

Young’s double in the fourth tied the game at 7, and Suzuki doubled in the fifth for an 8-7 A’s lead.

Notes

Ellis took his first major-league at bat as a clean-up hitter and has now hit in every spot of the batting order. … Rangers C Gerald Laird was scratched from the starting lineup with a sore right knee. … OF Jack Cust struck out twice to take over the AL lead with 146 strikeouts. … Padilla is the first Rangers pitcher not to retire a hitter since Aaron Myrtle on Sept. 3, 2004 in Baltimore. … Young hit .390 (3-for-77) against the A’s this season.

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