ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Oakland Athletics have more wins against Yu Darvish than any other major league team, and Coco Crisp quickly put them ahead again with a homer on the second pitch of the game.
Jake Smolinski also went deep, but that was all the A’s got and they lost to Darvish for the first time since their first meeting against the right-hander from Japan more than four years ago.
Darvish struck out nine and walked one pitching into the eighth, and the AL-best Rangers won 6-2 on Wednesday night.
“They just got bigger hits than we did,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “We had a couple of opportunities where we could have extended our lead early or gotten closer after they took the lead. Then they got big hits when they needed to.”
Oakland had gone 8-0 in its previous 10 games against Darvish, whose only win over the A’s had been the first time they faced him on May 16, 2012, only his eighth game in the majors after the previous seven seasons in Japan. No other MLB team has more than three wins against him.
“It’s a different lineup. But like me, I change, too,” Darvish said through his interpreter. “I feel just fortunate that I got a win.”
Darvish (4-3) had a demonstrative show of emotion, pumping his fist and letting out a shout, after striking out Crisp to end the seventh inning. Darvish came back for the eighth, but was pulled after Danny Valencia’s leadoff double.
Crisp struck out three times after homering on the second pitch of the game. Smolinski went deep leading off the fifth.
All-Star center fielder Ian Desmond and recently acquired Jonathan Lucroy each had three RBIs as the AL-best Rangers completed a three-game series sweep.
The A’s (52-69) have lost five straight and are a season-high 17 games under .500 — and 19 1/2 games behind Texas in the AL West.
Desmond had a two-run single in the fifth for a 3-2 lead against rookie lefty Sean Manaea (4-8), and put the Rangers ahead to stay.
Manaea, 1-4 in his nine starts since the end of June, gave up four runs and nine hits over six innings, He struck out five without a walk.
“It just wasn’t there today I guess. It just wasn’t there. Just make better pitches,” Manaea said. “It’s pretty frustrating but there’s nothing I can do about it now. I just have to move on.”
Texas added three runs in the seventh, on an RBI single by Desmond before Lucroy’s two-run double.
TAKE 4 ADRIAN
With first base empty and two outs in the seventh, the Athletics opted to intentionally walk Adrian Beltre to load the bases for the second straight game. Lucroy followed with his two-run double Tuesday. In the 10th inning on Tuesday night, Rougned Odor was hit by the very next pitch after Beltre was walked, forcing in the winning run for the Rangers in a 5-4 victory.
The A’s have lost eight of their last nine road games. … Lucroy’s homer in the fourth was his seventh in 15 games since being traded to Texas from Milwaukee on Aug. 1, and his career-high 20th overall for the season.
Athletics: INF Tyler Ladendorf was put on the 15-day DL with a sprained left wrist. He is the 26th Oakland player to go on the DL this season, a franchise record. … RHP Jesse Hahn (strained right shoulder) threw 75 pitches in a rehab start and could start for the A’s on Sunday, a day after he is eligible to come off the DL.
The Athletics and Rangers have the day off Thursday, the first for both since Aug. 1. Oakland opens a three-game series Friday at the Chicago White Sox, and Texas plays at Tampa Bay.