ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Oakland Athletics headed home from Texas with a 1 1/2-game lead in the AL wild card race and plenty of confidence after a 6-1 trip.
Sean Manaea limited the Texas Rangers to three singles over six scoreless innings, Matt Chapman and Marcus Semien homered to help break the franchise record for home runs in a season, and the A’s beat the Rangers 6-1 Sunday.
“It seems like we’re hitting on all facets of the game in this last stretch,” said Chapman, whose ninth-inning homer set the club record at 244. “We have our eyes on hosting a wild-card game.”
The A’s extended their lead on the Tampa Bay Rays, who lost to the Los Angeles Angels 6-4. After going 3-1 at Houston and 3-0 at Texas, they’ll host the Kansas City Royals for three games and the Rangers for three in their final homestand of the season.
“It’s about that particular game and trying to win every one,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said, “and we know this time of year you have to win a lot of games and they’re doing it at the right time.”
A’s rookie left-hander Jesus Luzardo allowed one run over the final three innings for his first save.
The Rangers dropped all three games of the series after returning to .500 on Thursday.
Manaea (2-0) made his third start since being activated for the first time this season on Sept. 1 following shoulder surgery last September. He has given up one run and six hits in 18 innings, striking out 21.
“His fastball plays up, he’s a big kid,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “His ball kind of gets on you.”
“I think that was the best my fastball felt — good location,” Manaea said. “I don’t know about the velo, but everything felt like it was on time and I was able to locate things better.”
Oakland scored its first four runs in the third inning on Semien’s two-run homer off Jonathan Hernández (1-1) and Seth Brown’s two-run double.
Hernández made his sixth major league appearance and second start, both to open bullpen games. He pitched 2 2/3 innings, matching his career high, and allowed three runs, two hits and two walks before being followed by five relievers.
Brown also doubled in the second inning. The rookie is 20 for 52 with 12 RBIs and five multihit efforts in 16 games after being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas on Aug. 26.
Luzardo allowed two hits, two walks and a wild pitch with four strikeouts in his second appearance since being called up from Las Vegas on Sept. 9. The run scored on a passed ball by Sean Murphy.
Chapman (34 homers), Matt Olson (34) and Semien (30) give the A’s three players with at least 30 homers for the first time since 2001. … Shin-Soo Choo went 3 for 3 and was hit by a pitch for the 17th time this season, giving him the AL lead. … Rangers LHP Joe Palumbo, recalled from Triple-A Nashville before the game, struck out four in two innings.
A’s RHP Mike Fiers (arm nerve irritation) will be checked by a team doctor Monday in Oakland. If all checks out, he’ll throw his scheduled bullpen that day. … Rangers C Jeff Mathis (low back strain) will miss at least four or five days. … Home plate umpire Tripp Gibson was attended to briefly by Texas’ training staff in the second inning after being struck on the left arm by a 96 mph pitch from Hernández.
A’s RHP Tanner Roark (4-1, 3.40) will face Royals RHP Glenn Sparkman (4-11, 5.94) Monday in Oakland to open a three-game series. Acquired July 31 from Cincinnati, Roark has allowed two earned runs or fewer in five of his seven A’s starts.
Texas will play two at Houston beginning Tuesday with RHP Lance Lynn (14-10, 3.72) facing Astros RHP Justin Verlander (18-6, 2.58). Lynn is 0-4 in his last seven starts with a 3.76 ERA, and the Rangers are 0-7 at Minute Maid Park this season.