By STEFAN STEVENSON
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Shea Langeleirs hit a two-out, two-run homer in the sixth inning to break a tie and the Oakland Athletics held on to beat the reeling Texas Rangers 6-3 on Friday night.
Langleirs knocked Rangers starter Jordan Montgomery from the game and helped push Texas a game further behind Toronto in the AL wild-card race.
Toronto beat Kansas City and leads the Rangers by 1 1/2 games for the third wild-card spot. Texas remained 2 1/2 games behind first-place Houston in the AL West and a half-game back of second-place Seattle. Houston and Seattle lost Friday.
The Rangers have lost four consecutive games, seven of eight and 16 of 20.
“These losses are getting tough,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said. “You keep fighting, that’s all you can do.”
The A’s, who will be officially eliminated from the postseason with their next loss, moved out of the major league basement, ahead of Kansas City.
They got a ragged start from Paul Blackburn, who struggled with his command and threw 70 pitches in the first two innings. He escaped with only allowing Corey Seager’s first-inning, two-run homer. Blackburn left after three innings and 87 pitches with the game tied 2-2.
Texas, however, struggled to generate much offensively against five Oakland relievers, including Devin Sweet, who tossed two perfect innings in the fifth and sixth. Combined, the Oakland bullpen held the Rangers to one run on three hits over the final six innings.
“We didn’t take advantage of a guy out there who was struggling with his command,” Bochy said. “He battled his way out of it but you hope you get a hit there. Their pen did a job on us and we really couldn’t threaten them.”
Seager’s two-run home run in the first gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead. It was his 29th homer of the season and 16th in his past 34 games.
Rangers starter Jordan Montgomery (8-11) allowed five runs on eight hits, including two homers in 5 2/3 innings.
Marcus Semien doubled and reached third on a fielding error, then scored on Nathaniel Lowe’s single to right to give Texas a 3-2 lead in the fourth. Two walks loaded the bases for Ezequiel Duran, but he lined out to center to end the inning.
Oakland tied it at 3 in the fifth on Esteury Ruiz’s solo homer. Ryan Noda’s run-scoring double stretched the A’s lead to 6-3 in the seventh.
Evan Carter made his major league debut starting in right field for the injured Adolis Garcia. Carter singled through the right side in his first at-bat in the second inning. He finished 1 for 3 with a walk and two strikeouts.
Rangers outfielder Adolis Garcia was placed on the 10-day injury list because of a strained patellar tendon. He was replaced by Carter. Utility player Brad Miller was transferred from the 10-day to 60-day IL with a left hamstring strain to make room for Carter on the 40-man roster
Rangers right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (11-4, 2.95) was set to face right-hander Jon Gray (8-7, 3.85) on Saturday.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb