OAKLAND, Calif. — Pinch hitter Andy Ibañez hit a pair of runs with a two-out single against closer Dany Jiménez, and the Texas Rangers scored three runs in the ninth inning for the second straight night to beat Oakland 8-5 on Friday.
Rangers rallied with six runs over the last three innings and extended their winning streak to three. It came a day after scoring three runs in their batting final in a 4-1 win.
“We’re starting to put things in place and we’re starting to feel more confidence, not just here at the clubhouse but on the pitch,” Ibañez said through an interpreter. “It’s a very good atmosphere.”
Kole Calhoun walked Jiménez (1-2) to open the ninth and took third on singles with a Nathaniel Lowe out. After Brad Miller looked and stood at home plate yelling at umpire Phil Cuzzi, Ibañez rebounded a 1-2 pitch into center field and then scored on Marcus Semien’s single.
Ibañez’s hit came after a quick chat with teammate Adolis García.
“(We) were sitting in the dugout talking about how to stay positive, that things don’t always go the way they’re supposed to, but how to be positive,” Ibañez said. “It helped me a lot, gave me a lot of confidence.”
Sean Murphy and Chad Pinder hit back-to-back homers off Jon Gray for the A’s on a five-run third.
Trailing 5-2, Rangers scored twice in the seventh and then equalized in the eighth on Adolis García’s RBI brace against Zach Jackson. García delivered the decisive blow in Thursday’s 4-1 victory.
Matt Moore (2-0) pitched two scoreless innings and had three strikeouts. Dennis Santana worked the ninth for his first save since the Dominican Rookie League in 2014.
“Instead of freaking out, it was bat after bat,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “You hope to win every game 7-2 or 7-0, but when you find yourself tied in consecutive games in the ninth inning, yesterday against a good pitcher and today against their closest, and you find a way to scoring three gives us a ton of confidence.”
The Rangers have allowed five or fewer runs in 12 straight games, the longest active streak in the majors and the longest in Texas since 2017.
Gray was scored for a season-high five runs and five hits in six innings.
A starter Cole Irvin allowed two runs – one earned – in the first before settling. The southpaw retired the team in order four times and had four strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.
A’s manager Mark Kotsay will miss Saturday’s game to attend his daughter Grace’s high school graduation in San Diego. “It’s an exciting day for our family,” Kotsay said, adding that her daughter received a full scholarship to attend USC’s Marshall School of Business. Bench coach Brad Ausmus will coach in Kotsay’s absence.
Athletics: Stephen Vogt (sprained right knee) will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Las Vegas on Saturday. The plan is for Vogt to play catcher while he’s in the game. “We’ll see how his body handles the workload,” Kotsay said.
Rangers’ Taylor Hearn and Oakland’s Zach Logue will start in a southpaw matchup on Saturday. Hearn (2-3, 5.77 ERA) has failed to come out of the fifth inning in each of his previous two starts. Logue (2-3, 4.43) allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings of his most recent start after giving up four runs in his first 17 2/3 innings this season.
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