OAKLAND, Calif. -- On a cool Friday night at O.co Coliseum, the Texas Rangers stayed red-hot, pounding out 12 hits and beating the Oakland A's 8-3 in the opener of a three-game series. Nelson Cruz and Jurickson Profar hit two-run homers and the Rangers won their fifth straight game, cutting Oakland's lead in the American League West to 2 1/2 games. The Rangers have gained 3 1/2 games on the A's in the past four days. The A's lost their third straight game and have dropped seven of their 11 against Texas. Leonys Martin, Elvis Andrus, Adrian Belte and A.J. Pierzynski had two hits apiece for the Rangers. Pierzynski drove in three runs. Before beginning their 10-game road trip, the Rangers swept three games from the Los Angeles Angels on three straight walk-off homers and then crushed the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-1 on Thursday in a makeup game. A's left-hander Tommy Milone (9-9) lasted only 3 2/3 innings against the Rangers, giving up six runs and nine hits. He fell to 0-4 in five career starts against Texas, the first four at Arlington. Rangers right-hander Alexi Ogando struggled with his command and left after throwing 94 pitches in four innings. Ogando gave up three runs and four hits. He walked five, struck out one and received a no-decision. Rangers relievers Robbie Ross, Jason Frasor, Tanner Scheppers, Neal Cotts and Joakim Soria combined to blank the A's on three hits in the final five innings. The A's took a 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning with two outs. Ogando issued back-to-back walks to Jed Lowrie and Yoenis Cespedes, and Brandon Moss drilled a two-run double off the left-field wall. Texas answered with two runs in the second when Beltre hit a leadoff single and, with one out, Cruz lined a two-run homer off Milone over the 400-foot mark in center field. The Rangers took a 4-2 lead in the third. Martin led off with a sharp single to center and Elvis Andrus followed with a single to left, extending his hitting streak to 15 games, the longest current streak in the majors. Both runners tagged and advanced on Ian Kinsler's flyout to center field. Beltre brought Martin home on a groundout and Pierzynski hit an RBI single to center. The Rangers extended their lead to 6-2 in the fourth. Craig Gentry doubled with one out and Profar crushed a two-run homer off Milone to left. Oakland scored a run in the fourth as Josh Reddick led off with a walk and scored on Coco Crisp's two-out double. NOTES: INF Adam Rosales was claimed by Texas off waivers from the A's on Friday. Rosales was designated for assignment twice last month, on July 8 and July 31. He cleared waivers the first time and went to Triple-A Sacramento before being recalled by the A's on July 24. This time, Texas made sure Rosales didn't return to the A's organization. ... OF Engel Beltre was sent to Triple-A Round Rock, opening a spot on the 25-man roster for Rosales. Beltre hit .300 (9-for-30) with a double, two RBIs and five runs scored in his first major-league stint, appearing in 13 games. ... A's LHP Brett Anderson (right foot stress fracture, sprained right ankle) pitched to batters on Friday for the first time since going on the disabled list on May 1. He threw around 55 pitches. "Threw all his pitches," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "It looked like everything went smoothly to me -- and no complaints from him as far as physically." Melvin said the next step in Anderson's comeback would be based on how he feels Saturday. Earlier in the week, Melvin said Anderson could go on a rehab assignment or throw to A's batters again.
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