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Rangers 3, A's 1

The SportsXchange

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers scored three runs in the first inning and avoided a three-game series sweep with a 3-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday afternoon.

Texas jumped out of the gate in the bottom of the first with the three runs coming on two homers.

Elvis Andrus opened the inning with a single through the left side of the infield before David Murphy sent a 1-0 pitch into the right-field seats. Adrian Beltre sent the next pitch to center field for a one-out homer.

The three runs were all that Texas pitching needed. Ross Wolf pitched five innings in his first-career start and first appearance for the Rangers. He struck out three and allowed two walks and three hits.

Wolf was perfect through three innings before running into to trouble in the fourth when he allowed Oakland's only run of the game.

Coco Crisp opened the inning with a single and Yoenis Cespedes added a one-out double to left. Brandon Moss sent a long fly to the center-field warning track for a sacrifice fly that scored Crisp.

Wolf encountered difficulty again in the fifth.

A leadoff walk to Seth Smith was followed by a Derek Norris' double to right field, giving the A's two runners in scoring position. But Eric Sogard was robbed of a RBI single when Andrus made an over-the-shoulder catch in short left field for the first out. Another infield fly gave the Rangers the two out, and Wolf ended the threat by forcing a groundout.

Neal Cotts replaced Wolf on the mound in the sixth with two runners on and no outs. Cotts struck out the side, throwing nine out of his 12 pitches in the inning for strikes.

Rangers closer Joe Nathan replaced Robbie Ross in the ninth after Ross threw a perfect eighth with two strikeouts. Nathan sent the A's down in order on the way to picking up his 14th save of the season.

Jarrod Parker settled down for the Athletics after allowing the three runs in the first. After the home run by Beltre, Parker retired 11 of the next 12 Texas batters.

Parker finished with five strikeouts in seven innings. The right-hander allowed six hits and three earned runs.

NOTES: Scheduled Rangers starter Nick Tepesch was scratched from his start against the Athletics with a blister on his right middle finger. ... RHP Cory Burns was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock before the game. Burns had made three relief appearances for the Rangers. ... The Athletics and Rangers are both off on Thursday before traveling to face their next opponents. Oakland is scheduled to start Tommy Milone against Houston on Friday. Milone struck out six in 6 2/3 innings in his last start against the Astros on April 15. ... The Rangers begin a five-game, four-day road trip against Seattle and Arizona. Justin Grimm is scheduled to start for Texas on Friday. Grimm is 1-0 in two starts against the Mariners.
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