OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Texas Rangers were riding Yovani Gallardo’s overpowering right arm to what they thought would be another impressive road win.
Once he left the game, everything changed.
Sam Fuld slid into home to just beat the throw for the winning run with one out in the ninth, and the Oakland Athletics snapped a four-game losing streak with a 5-4 victory against the Rangers on Wednesday night.
Texas made costly mistakes late and squandered chances.
“It got a little tough for us. We put ourselves in a couple of tight spots,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “We ran into some outs on the bases, we got picked off, we missed a cutoff. It wasn’t the cleanest game but it was still one I thought we had a chance to win. More than anything, it was missed opportunities to add on.”
Gallardo struck out 10 in seven innings before the bullpen took over.
He has never beaten the A’s, though it appeared his fortunes would change Wednesday.
Gallardo overcame a 30-pitch first inning that put him in a 1-0 hole and got stronger late. He struck out the side in order in the sixth to give him four straight Ks. He reached double digit strikeouts for the 19th time in his career and first since Sept. 19 at Pittsburgh.
“I threw a lot of pitches in the first inning and had to figure out a way to stop that. I told myself to make them put the ball in play and I was able to get ahead of guys and pitch the way I wanted,” he said. “It’s always tough to lose when it happens like that. That’s just the way the game is.”
Mitch Moreland hit a pair of RBI singles and Leonys Martin had his 12th multihit game as Texas lost for only the 13th time on the road.
Fuld hit a one-out single off Keone Kela (4-3) for just his eighth hit in 80 at-bats and stole second. Fuld advanced on Billy Burns’ infield single and shortstop Elvis Andrus held the ball rather than throwing to third.
Reddick followed with a sharp grounder that second baseman Adam Rosales fielded and threw home just barely too late. It marked Reddick’s fifth career game-ending RBI, and he received a celebratory whipped cream pie in the face afterward.
“We were long overdue for a walkoff,” Fuld said. “Those are the best kinds of wins. Good teams get a lot of walkoff wins, and we were definitely in desperate need of one.”
Billy Butler hit a tying single off Tanner Scheppers in the eighth after Oakland scored another run on third baseman Joey Gallo’s throwing error.
Tyler Clippard (1-3) pitched a perfect ninth for the win.
Rangers right fielder Shin-Soo Choo caught Max Muncy’s deep fly at the wall to end the eighth.
A’s starter Jesse Hahn lasted just 3 2-3 innings and hit three batters.
Hahn plunked Choo in the right upper back to load the bases with none out in the third. Prince Fielder followed with a sacrifice fly.
Hahn also hit Martin in the third and Fielder in the fourth. The three hit batsmen matched an Oakland record done eight times previously and first since Barry Zito on April 15, 2005.
Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte relieved after Moreland’s fourth-inning single. Throwing left-handed, he struck out Gallo on three pitches.
He pitched two more scoreless innings — going 1-2-3, right-left-right in the sixth that ended with a strikeout of Fielder.
Rangers: LHP Martin Perez made his first rehab start since Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery in spring 2014. He went 2 2-3 innings for Double-A Frisco, allowing five hits and one run with four strikeouts and no walks. … 1B/OF Kyle Blanks, out following a procedure for a cyst in his tailbone area, could be activated as soon as Thursday.
Athletics: RHP Jarrod Parker visited the A’s as he recovers from a fractured elbow following two Tommy John surgeries. … Reliever Edward Mujica (fractured right thumb) threw on flat ground and is scheduled to pitch a bullpen Thursday.
Rangers: RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-0, 0.00 ERA with 14 2-3 scoreless innings) pitches the series finale at Oakland looking to become the first pitcher in franchise history to win each of his first three major league starts. Gonzalez has already joined Glen Cook (1985) and Kevin Brown (1986-88) to win his first two outings.
Athletics: LHP Scott Kazmir (2-4) tries for his first win in 10 starts since an April 13 victory at Houston. He is 0-4 with a 4.85 ERA and .299 opponents batting average over his last six outings.