The Oakland Athletics were back in action against the Texas Rangers on Friday and seemed to have things well in hand for most of the game. Oakland saw their 2-0 lead go up in smoke late in the game and with the 4-3 loss have now dropped back-to-back games to the Rangers.
A pair of RBI singles made it seem for most of the game as though the A's had all but locked up the win. Yoenis Cespedes drove in the first run of the game in the top of the fourth and Coco Crisp added another two-out RBI single in the top of the fifth to make it 2-0 A's. Heading into the eighth inning, the Oakland pitchers had allowed just a pair of singles and two walks to the potent Texas offense.
The Oakland bullpen ran into trouble in the bottom of the eighth. Grant Balfour up a single and two walks, then walking Nelson Cruz with the bases loaded to drive in the first Rangers run of the game and cut the A's lead in half. Ryan Cook was brought in to face Craig Gentry and gave up a bases-clearing triple that saw the A's lead evaporate for good.
Chris Carter hit a solo home run with two outs in the top of the ninth to get the A's back to within one, but Seth Smith grounded out to end the game.
Oakland's rookie starter A.J. Griffin went six innings, allowing just two hits and two walks and at one point retiring 13 batters in a row.