OAKLAND — From the very first pitch of the game, this was not the A's day. Shin-Soo Choo blasted a lead-off home run off Edwin Jackson, his 21st homer of the season, as the A's couldn't complete a three-game sweep in a 4-2 loss to the Rangers Wednesday.
Joey Gallo also homered for the Rangers, his 33rd of the season, and Adrian Beltre went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI singles. After combining for just five hits through the first two games of the series, Texas accumulated nine hits Wednesday.
The A's threatened in the bottom of the ninth, loading the bases with two outs, but Nick Martini struck out swinging to end the game. The loss drops Oakland to 76-51, half a game behind behind Houston in the AL West, pending the result of Wednesday's Astros-Mariners game. The A's are currently four games ahead of the Mariners for the second wild card spot.
Here's what else you need to know from Wednesday's defeat ...
--- After four straight strong starts, Jackson got knocked around Wednesday. The veteran right-hander allowed four earned runs on seven hits and three walks in just 4 1/3 innings, falling to 4-3 on the season. Jackson's season ERA is still an impressive 2.97.
--- Stephen Piscotty got the A's on the board in the seventh inning, doubling home Matt Chapman. Piscotty is tied for ninth in the American League with 35 doubles this season, matching his career high. He is fourth on the A's with 55 RBI.
--- Jed Lowrie didn't start, but still made an impact with a pinch-hit RBI double in the eighth inning. Lowrie is second on the team with 32 doubles and 78 RBI. He has now reached base safely in six consecutive plate appearances.
--- Oakland's bullpen was excellent as usual. Yusmeiro Petit, Shawn Kelley, Fernando Rodney, and Ryan Buchter combined for 4 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and a walk with eight strikeouts.