ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)Stephen Vogt’s routine grounder with two outs in the ninth inning glanced off Texas shortstop Corey Seager’s glove, scoring the go-ahead run as the Oakland Athletics beat the Rangers 8-7 on Wednesday night.
The A’s trailed 7-6 entering the ninth. Pinch-hitter Sheldon Neuse led off with a single and Vimael Machin tied it with a two-out double.
Pinch-hitter Vogt then pulled a grounder and Seager, shifted to the right side of the diamond, misplayed it for an error that let Machin score.
”For him to come through for us,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay paused and said, ”I believe in Stephen Vogt.”
Said Vogt, the 10-year veteran catcher: ”Machin got the big knock to keep us alive and tie the game up and keep us in scoring position. I was trying to take the ball to left-center but just willed it over there between Seager and (Marcus) Semien. Just got it done, doesn’t really matter how.”
The A’s are 2-71 when trailing after seven innings.
Tyler Cyr (1-0) got five outs for his first big league win. Jose Leclerc (0-3) took the loss.
Domingo Acevedo earned his first save. With a runner on second base and two out, Acevedo entered to cool off the Rangers’ Mark Mathias by striking him out. Mathias had hit tying and walk-off homers on Tuesday.
”Obviously, you get flashbacks from (Tuesday) night and a walk-off homer,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said. He brought in Acevedo to pitch to Mathias after Sam Moll got the first two outs.
”Sam wanted to finish that game,” Kotsay said, ”but I thought we had a good match-up with Acevedo in there.”
Vogt was behind the plate for the game-ending strikeout of Mathias. ”I’m sure he’ll cherish (the home runs) for the rest of his life.”
In Wednesday’s second inning, Mathias homered in his third consecutive at-bat.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Mathias was the first Rangers player since Roughned Odor in 2019 to hit home runs in three straight at-bats. No Ranger has had a longer home run streak in their 51 seasons.
Mathias, a 28-year-old rookie, drove in a third-inning run with a single for his fifth consecutive hit and sixth RBI in a span of six innings, including Tuesday’s two-homer performance. Texas acquired him from Milwaukee as part of a deadline-day trade for right-hander Matt Bush, and recalled Mathias from Triple-A Round Rock on August 16.
The consecutive-hit streak for Mathias ended at five when he struck out in the fifth.
Playing third base for the Rangers for the second time this season, Mathias showed defensive ability in the fifth inning. He charged a grounder by Nick Allen and threw across the diamond in time to record an out.
With the roof open, the Rangers’ home played as a hitters’ park. Each team hit three home runs – Mathias, Marcus Semien and Jonah Heim for Texas and Dermis Garcia, Seth Brown and Tony Kemp for Oakland.
Collin Wiles, a 28-year-old right-hander, made his major league debut in relief for Oakland 10 years after the Rangers drafted him in the first round. He gave up two runs and three hits in 1 1/3 innings.
The addition of Wiles extended A’s records to 60 players, 31 rookies, 19 rookie pitchers and 17 major league debuts this season.
Rangers: OF Eli White, who has been out since mid-June after fracturing his right wrist, was pulled back from his rehab assignment with Triple-A Round Rock because of left knee discomfort. He will be shut down for the season. … RHP Joe Barlow felt good after throwing a 25-pitch live BP session Wednesday. He has been out since mid-August because of a blister on his right index finger and could go on a minor league rehab assignment this weekend. … RHP Spencer Howard (right shoulder impingement) is expected to pitch Saturday at Round Rock.
A’s: RHP James Kaprielian (3-9, 4.79 ERA) will open a four-game series at Houston against RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (3-1, 2.20).
Rangers: After a day off Thursday, Texas LHP Martin Perez (11-6, 2.77) will start the opener of a three-game series at Tampa Bay against RHP Corey Kluber (10-8, 4.36).
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