A's rookie Ramon Laureano a one-man wrecking crew in win vs. Rangers

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BOX SCORE

OAKLAND - The third time was the charm for the A's "bullpenning" strategy. It didn't hurt that Ramón Laureano was a one-man wrecking crew on offense.

The A's rookie outfielder hit a pair of home runs, including a 441-foot blast to left for his first career leadoff homer. Marcus Semien added a two-run shot of his own, and Oakland doubled up the Rangers 8-4 in Friday night's series opener.

Liam Hendriks pitched his third straight scoreless first inning as the "opener," and Chris Bassitt followed with three innings, allowing two earned runs. Yusmeiro Petit, Fernando Rodney, Ryan Buchter, Jeurys Familia, and Blake Treinen also pitched out of the bullpen. Petit earned the win, improving to 7-3.

The A's improved to 85-57 but remained 3 1/2 games behind both the Astros and Yankees. Oakland did gain a game on Seattle and now leads the Mariners by 6 1/2 games for the second AL Wild Card spot.

Here's what else you need to know...

--- This was already Laureano's second career multi-home run game since making his Major League debut last month. He is slashing .309/.387/.568 with five homers and 13 RBI. In two games as Oakland's leadoff hitter, Laureano is 4-for-9 with two home runs and two doubles.

--- Semien reached base four times, going 2-for-2 with two walks. Semien ripped his 12th home run of the season in the second inning, a two-run shot to left. He is slashing .262/.326/.390 for the year.

--- Every A's starter reached base safely at least once. Jed Lowrie and Chad Pinder were the only players without a hit, but they both walked. Every A's starter also either scored or drove in a run. As a team, Oakland notched 10 hits and seven walks.

--- The A's improved to 1-2 in their "bullpenning" games. Oakland used seven pitchers on the night. Hendriks "opened" and Bassitt followed. Rodney and Familia were a little shaky, each allowing an earned run, but Treinen closed it out in the ninth to lock down the win.