Athletics finally get 'big hit' as Jed Lowrie walks it off vs. Rangers

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A's finally get 'big hit' as Lowrie walks it off vs. Rangers originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

After countless missed scoring opportunities by the Athletics on Sunday, Jed Lowrie came up to bat in the bottom of the ninth inning with a chance to walk off against the Texas Rangers.

And he delivered.

Lowrie’s ninth-inning single scored the speedy Cristian Pache from second base and gave the A’s something to celebrate, cementing a 6-5 walk-off victory at Oakland Coliseum that prevented a four-game sweep by Texas.

“We’ve had a lot of opportunities but haven’t been able to get that big hit,” Lowrie said on NBC Sports California’s “A’s Postgame Live” after walking it off. “So that’s one of those things that you can kind of let spiral out of control, and you’ve just got to stay within yourself.”

Despite collecting twice as many hits as Texas during the win, the A’s left 16 runners on base Sunday. Their 14 knocks on the day weren’t exactly timely, but Oakland batters came through when it mattered most with a three-run fifth inning and two-run eighth.

The game-winning bottom of the ninth for the A’s got started with a sharp leadoff single to right field by Pache, who finished the day with two hits and a walk -- not to mention scoring the winning run.

“[Pache’s] the type of energy that we need,” Lowrie said of Oakland’s rookie center fielder. “Seeing him take a swing like that, that’s definitely something that he can build on because there’s so much there.”

With Dany Jiménez on the mound for Oakland in the top of the ninth, Lowrie said the A’s “expected the win” as the pitcher went for his 11th save of the season in the 5-4 ballgame.

But after a walk to Marcus Semien, a stolen base by the former Athletic and a groundout that moved him to third, a wild pitch from Jiménez forced the bottom half of the inning as Semien scored and tied the game.

“We also know that having a perfect season for a closer is probably unrealistic,” Lowrie said of the team’s confidence in Jiménez. “So for us to come back and get this walk-off win, hopefully that’s a little energy we can build off.”

That energy is something A's manager Mark Kotsay has known to come in bursts for Oakland this season, and he commended his team’s grit while talking to reporters after the walk off.

“I think one word that describes that group today is the word ‘fight,’” Kotsay said. “We talked a lot about it out of spring training that win or lose, we’re going to fight. And getting down early, it showed their grind, they showed their fight … They just kept going and that’s a great sign.”

RELATED: Lowrie describes differences between Kotsay, BoMel as managers

With the win, the A’s improve to 20-30 on the season and remain in last place in the AL West.

But if anything can spark some momentum moving forward, it’s a walk-off win against a division rival.