ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Jonathan Lucroy hit a grand slam off his former battery mate and the surging Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 15-3 on Monday night for their 24th win in 31 games.
Stephen Piscotty also went deep against Rangers starter Cole Hamels (5-9), a potential trade target for some contending teams even though he has struggled at home all season.
Oakland right-hander Brett Anderson (2-2) struck out six over six innings.
Hamels allowed seven runs and nine hits in five innings, with five strikeouts, two walks and a hit batsman. The lefty is 1-7 with a 6.41 ERA in 10 home starts this season, and 4-2 with a 2.93 ERA in 10 starts away from Arlington.
The A’s (58-43) are a season-best 15 games over .500 after the 24-7 stretch since June 16 that is the best in the majors during that span. They are still third in the loaded AL West, behind Houston and Seattle.
Elvis Andrus had a two-run homer that was his 1,500th career hit for last-place Texas, which is 4-13 in July.
Lucroy, hitting ninth in the Oakland lineup, made it 4-0 with his slam in the second inning that was only his second homer this season. Lucroy was traded from Milwaukee to Texas at the non-waiver trade deadline in 2016, then sent to Colorado at the same time the following season. Texas was 11-7 in games Hamels started with Lucroy catching.
Piscotty ended an 0-for-11 slide with his 13th homer, a two-run shot in the fifth that made it 7-2. He added an RBI double after Hamels was out of the game, when Matt Chapman hit a three-run homer and had an RBI double. Khris Davis went deep for the 24th time this season.
Texas used two position players to pitch for the first time in team history. Carlos Tocci got the last two outs of the eighth and Ryan Rua pitched a 1-2-3 ninth. They were the only of the five Rangers pitchers who didn’t allow a run.
Athletics: OF Matt Joyce, on the DL again with a lumbar strain, started rehab with some dry swings back in Oakland. … Manager Bob Melvin said right-hander Daniel Gossett, out since June 4 with a strained right elbow, “had a little bit of a setback” and has stopped throwing. Gossett will see another doctor soon after again feeling some tightness.
Rangers: Slugger Joey Gallo was out of the lineup a day after exiting the series finale against Cleveland with a sprained left ankle. Manager Jeff Banister indicated the injury wasn’t serious, and said he just wanted to give Gallo some extra time. … RHP Chris Martin, on the DL since July 5 with a left groin strain, could throw live BP later this week.
Rangers lefty Mike Minor (6-6), who pitched only 77 2/3 innings as a reliever for Kansas City last year after missing two full seasons because of shoulder surgery, will reach 100 innings this season when he records two outs in his 19th start for Texas. The A’s will recall RHP Frankie Montas (5-2) from Triple-A Nashville for his first big league start since six scoreless innings at Houston on July 9.
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