Oakland, CA (Sports Network) – Trevor Cahill allowed two unearned runs in eight strong innings, leading the Oakland A’s to a 3-2 win over the Texas Rangers in the rubber match of a three-game series.
Cahill (12-4) has been on a tear of late, not having allowed an earned run in 26 innings over four starts. The 22-year-old righty allowed just six hits while fanning three on Sunday and has been a revelation for the Oakland pitching staff, winning his last three outings while lowering his earned run average to 2.56.
Coco Crisp’s RBI double tied the game in the seventh and Kurt Suzuki’s sacrifice fly two batters later put the A’s ahead for good, giving the team their 10th win in their last 11 day games. Michael Wuertz notched his fifth save.
Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz each drove in a run for the Rangers, who still hold a 7 1/2-game lead over Oakland in the AL West. Colby Lewis was in line for the win after yielding one run, three hits and three walks in six innings, but Darren Oliver (0-1) gave up two runs while recording just one out.
Oliver came on to protect a one-run lead for Texas in the seventh, but failed to do so.
Cliff Pennington began the inning with a single, and Crisp followed with a game-tying RBI double down the left field line. Landon Powell sacrificed Crisp to third, and Suzuki lofted a sacrifice fly off Darren O’Day to put Oakland ahead, 3-2.
Cahill stayed on for the eighth inning and retired the Rangers in order. Wuertz walked Bengie Molina and Cristian Guzman in the ninth, but got Vladimir Guerrero to ground into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play.
The A’s threatened right away, getting their first two batters on base. Lewis, however, settled down to retire the next three hitters — two via strikeout — to end the inning unscathed.
Oakland also stranded a leadoff double in the second and two runners in scoring position in the fifth.
Cahill was dominant in the early innings, allowing just three singles in the first five innings, all of which were scoreless. The Rangers, though, finally got to the righty in the sixth, breaking the deadlock.
Elvis Andrus began the inning with a ground ball toward shortstop, but Pennington couldn’t make the running stop and was charged with an error. Andrus advanced to second on a groundout and scored on Hamilton’s single to left.
Catcher Kurt Suzuki tried to throw out Hamilton running to second on the play, but the ball bounced into the outfield, allowing Hamilton to advance to third. Cruz followed with a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 game.
The A’s finally got on the board in the home half, as Kevin Kouzmanoff doubled leading off, went to third on a ground ball and scored on Rajai Davis’ sacrifice fly.
Lewis struck out seven…The A’s improved to 22-11 in the third game of a series and 47-1 when leading after seven innings…The Rangers are 18-18 in series finales…Oakland’s Daric Barton left with muscle spasms in his shoulder…Cahill has a 3-0 record with a 0.68 ERA (two ER, 26 2/3 IP) in four starts this year against Texas.