Oakland, CA (Sports Network) – Taylor Teagarden hit a two-run homer and Cliff Lee was solid in eight innings on the mound, as the Texas Rangers took down the Oakland Athletics, 5-1, in the opener of a three-game series at the Coliseum.
Lee (10-5) gave up just one run on seven hits in another strong outing. The left-hander has now pitched at least eight innings over his last 10 starts, the longest run by any pitcher since Pat Hentgen’s 12-game run for Toronto in 1996.
Josh Hamilton hit a solo homer for the Rangers, who have won three in a row and seven of 11 overall. Elvis Andrus scored a run and drove in a run for the victors.
“This team has one goal and that’s to get to the playoffs. We want to win every game we can,” Teagarden said.
Kurt Suzuki had the lone RBI for the Athletics, who trail Texas by 9 1/2 games in the AL West standings.
Dallas Braden (6-8) went six frames in the start, allowing four runs on five hits to take the loss.
“We still got an opportunity to win the series. We just got to come back tomorrow ready to go,” Suzuki said.
The A’s got their only run of the game in the first. Daric Barton hit a one- out triple and scored on Suzuki’s double to left.
Texas got a run of its own in the third to tie the game. Teagarden hit a two- out double and raced home on Andrus’ two-bagger to center.
Hamilton’s solo homer to right-center in the fourth gave the Rangers a 2-1 edge.
Texas added two more runs in the fifth on Teagarden’s blast. Cristian Guzman reached base on an infield single and scored when Teagarden blasted a 1-2 changeup over the wall in left-center field.
Andrus scored on a Brad Ziegler balk in the top of the eighth to make it 5-1.
Lee’s amazing streak almost came to an end in the home eighth. His pitch count was over 100 after giving up consecutive two-out singles to Barton and Suzuki. Kevin Kouzmanoff struck out to keep Lee’s streak alive.
Frank Francisco pitched a scoreless ninth for Texas to seal the win.
Texas has won six of its 10 matchups with the A’s this season…Lee hasn’t lost back-to-back starts all season. He struck out eight and did not issue a walk on Friday for his 100th career victory…Braden fell to 1-4 lifetime against the Rangers.