ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Chi Chi Gonzalez finally looked like a rookie for the Texas Rangers.
After giving up only three runs while dominating in his first four major league starts, Gonzalez allowed six runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings in the Rangers’ 8-6 loss to Oakland on Tuesday night for their first three-game losing streak in more than a month.
“More than anything else, he wasn’t as sharp with his location as he has been,” manager Jeff Banister said.
“I was just missing locations with my heater. They hit them well. I was behind some hitters. I just was missing spots,” Gonzalez said. “It was a grind. I struggled. But the team played well and gave me run support.”
Even with the somewhat surprising return of third baseman Adrian Beltre, who had a sac fly and a single, Texas has lost three games in a row for the first time since May 14-16.
Beltre had missed 19 games since spraining his left thumb May 31, and it still hurts him to swing the bat. But doctors said he can do nothing more to hurt it.
“I felt good enough to play. I’ve improved (since Sunday). I wasn’t surprised; I wanted to heal faster,” Beltre said. “I just want to be out there. I was just waiting to get good enough to swing the bat and that was today.”
Rougned Odor had a two-run homer among his three hits for the Rangers. Elvis Andrus drove in two runs and scored early on a passed ball against catcher Josh Phegley, who homered and had a two-run double for Oakland.
Jesse Chavez (4-6), a hard-luck loser already a couple of times this season for the A’s, allowed five runs and eight hits over five innings. But the right-hander exited with the lead that four relievers combined to hold.
“Yeah, absolutely, really nice for him,” Phegley said.
Ben Zobrist also homered for Oakland, which is 18-11 since being 16 games under .500 on May 22.
Phegley’s double chased Gonzalez and tied the game at 5 in the sixth. Phegley scored on Marcus Semien’s RBI single to put the A’s ahead to stay after Chavez had already thrown his last pitch.
“Not only did we get him off the hook, we got him something he deserved,” manager Bob Melvin said.
Drew Pomeranz, the fifth Oakland pitcher, got the final five outs for his first career save.
Gonzalez, the 23-year-old right-hander, saw his ERA more than double, from 0.90 to 2.27.
“I just have to stay confident,” Gonzalez said. “I just have to look at my success and not reflect on the negative. Take out the positives.”
There was a moment of silence before the game for MLB Network analyst and former player Darryl Hamilton, who was killed Sunday. Hamilton played 13 major league seasons, and his only one in Texas was in 1996 when the Rangers won the AL West and went to the playoffs for the first time.
BACK IN TOWN
Former Rangers manager Ron Washington was at his first game in Texas since his surprise resignation last September for personal reasons. Now an infield instructor for the A’s, Washington was on the field for pregame work and threw batting practice. But he can’t be in the dugout for games.
TRADING 4 SPOTS
After homer in the fifth made it a 2-1 lead, the Rangers scored four times in the bottom of the inning. But the A’s immediately responded with four in the sixth, including Ike Davis’ RBI double before Phegley’s tying double.
Athletics: C Stephen Vogt was out of the lineup after getting a cortisone shot in his left elbow following Sunday’s game. He is expected to play Wednesday. … Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte (strained right shoulder) could be cleared to play catch by the end of the week.
Rangers: OF Josh Hamilton (strained left hamstring) is set to start a rehab assignment Wednesday as the DH for Double-A Frisco. He then will go to Triple-A Round Rock and could rejoin the Rangers by Monday.
Athletics: Oakland goes for its eighth win in 10 games. Right-hander Kendall Graveman is only the second A’s pitcher since at least 1914 to throw at least seven innings and allow two runs or less in three consecutive games without a win in such a span.
Rangers: Texas has lost four games in a row only once this season (April 27-May 1). The Rangers have won the last six starts by lefty Wandy Rodriguez (4-2, 3.20 ERA).