The Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers kicked off a huge four-game series on Monday night. The A's headed to Arlington a convenient four games behind the Rangers in the American League West and had a sweep on their minds. Unfortunately, the bullpen once again coughed up a late lead and the A's dropped the opener by a final score of 5-4.
In the top of the second inning, the A's made their first statement, as Josh Donaldson hit a two-run homer to give Oakland an early lead. Mitch Moreland hit an RBI single in the bottom of the second to cut the lead in half, but the A's got that run right back in the top of the third on the 21st home run of the year by Yoenis Cespedes to give Oakland a 3-1 lead.
Josh Hamilton belted his 43rd home run of the season to once again cut the lead to one run in the fifth, but again the A's answered back. Cliff Pennington made it 4-2 with an RBI single in the top of the sixth.
The Oakland bullpen was unfortunately unable to hold the lead. Pat Neshek gave up a two-run homer to Adrian Beltre in the 7th that tied the game. In the bottom of the ninth, the Rangers loaded the bases with one out against Tyson Ross. Once again, Beltre got to be the hero for the Rangers, as he singled home the winning run. The Rangers now hold a five-game lead in the West and the A's slip to just two games above the Los Angeles Angels in the Wild Card standings.
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