The A’s made life rough for Yu Darvish on Saturday as they’ve done often against the Rangers right-hander.
Then again, not many pitchers are escaping their wrath these days. Continuing their late-season offensive revival, the A’s walloped Texas 11-2 at Globe Life Park, their third time cracking double-digit runs in six games on this road trip.
Joey Wendle led the game off with his first major league home run, and right-hander Raul Alcantara registered his first career victory on the mound as the A’s continued spreading the good vibes up and down the roster. Marcus Semien hit a three-run home run, collecting his 26th homer on his 26th birthday, and Danny Valencia added a three-run shot for some cushion in the eighth.
Oakland has managed to keep the offensive momentum rolling after sweeping four from Kansas City. They were dealt a gut-wrencher in Friday’s walk-off loss, but even in that game they swung the bats. The A’s have hit the fourth-fewest homers in the American League, but they’ve gone deep 12 times in the past six games. And if you’re curious how the runs are piling up, seven of those 12 homers have been three-run shots.
Wendle continued making himself at home in the leadoff spot with two hits and two RBI. Fellow rookie Bruce Maxwell, who started behind the plate with Stephen Vogt DH’ing, also had two hits and two RBI.
Darvish came in just 2-8 with a 4.54 career ERA against the A’s, though he’d beat them in his last start against them. The right-hander got tagged for seven runs in five innings and hurt himself with four walks.
The A’s are 5-1 on this seven-game road trip that wraps up Sunday afternoon.
Starting pitching report: Alcantara (1-1) went 5 2/3 innings for the second consecutive outing. Though he isn’t pitching deep into games yet, he’s showing the kind of stuff that suggest he can get big league hitters out with some consistency. The Rangers didn’t advance a runner past first base through the first five innings. Armed with a 7-0 lead in the sixth, he gave up Elvis Andrus’ single and a two-run homer to Carlos Gomez. Later in the inning, Adrian Beltre fell just shy of launching another two-run shot, and manager Bob Melvin went to his bullpen. Alcantara allowed five hits and just the two runs. He struck out three and didn’t issue a walk. After struggling mightily with his command in his debut, Alcantara has surrendered just one walk over his past two starts. Expect him to be in the battle for a rotation spot in the spring.
Bullpen report: John Axford, Zach Neal and Daniel Coulombe did the mop-up work to clinch Alcantara’s first big league win.
At the plate: The A’s continue to do their damage against teams that are either fighting to stay in postseason contention (the Royals) or seemingly have their berths guaranteed (the Rangers). They’re hitting .322 (74-for-230) with 60 runs in six games on this trip.
In the field: Neither team made an error in this one.
Up next: The A’s close out this seven-game trip with a 12:05 p.m. game Sunday. Ross Detwiler (1-3, 5.31) takes the mound, opposed by Colby Lewis (6-2, 3.31), who took a no-hitter into the ninth inning at the Coliseum in his last start against Oakland.