(Sports Network) – Gio Gonzalez went six innings to help the Oakland Athletics take an 8-2 win over the Texas Rangers in the rubber match of a three-game set.
Gonzalez (12-8) gave up just two runs on five hits with a walk and four strikeouts for the Athletics, who took the final two games of the series. Coco Crisp finished 2-for-4 with an RBI while Kevin Kouzmanoff and Mark Ellis each hit a solo home run.
Josh Hamilton hit a solo home run and drove in the other run for the Rangers, who have dropped three of four. Colby Lewis (9-11) was tagged for seven runs — six earned — on eight hits with three walks and seven strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings.
Texas still holds a comfortable 7 1/2 games lead over Oakland for first place in the AL West.
The A’s got on board in the third inning. Rajai Davis led off with a double, moved to third on a bunt single from Cliff Pennington and, after Crisp walked, crossed the plate on a Daric Barton sacrifice fly.
Texas answered in the bottom of the inning as Julio Borbon singled to start the frame, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Andres Blanco and came home on a two-out single from Hamilton.
Ellis, though, hit his homer with one out in the fourth to give Oakland a 2-1 lead.
Oakland increased its lead to 4-1 in the fifth. Pennington led off with a single and stole second. After Barton walked, Kurt Suzuki reached base on a Lewis throwing error that allowed Pennington to score. Jack Cust later hit into a double play to plate Barton.
Kouzmanoff led off the sixth with his long ball. Later in the frame with men on first and third, Pennington’s sac bunt scored Gabe Gross and Crisp followed with a single to plate Davis for a 7-1 lead.
Hamilton’s homer in the sixth got Texas to within 7-2.
Craig Breslow came on in relief of Gonzalez and set Texas down in order in the seventh and eighth innings.
Gross’s sac fly in the ninth accounted for the final score.
Oakland has taken eight of the 15 games against Texas this season…Gonzalez improved to 3-1 lifetime against Texas…Lewis fell to 2-3 against Oakland…Oakland begins a four-game set in New York on Monday…Texas travels to Kansas City for a three-game set starting Monday…Barton, who finished the game 0-for-2 with an RBI, a run scored and two walks, had an 11-game hitting streak snapped.