Thursday, December 7 2023

Athletics ride Ruiz, Langeliers homers to win over Rangers originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

An Athletics team once projected to finish with a win total in the 30s quickly is approaching 50 victories this season.

Oakland moved a step closer to that threshold with a 6-3 win over the Texas Rangers on Friday night at Globe Life Field, pushing their record to 44-97 with 21 games remaining in the 2023 MLB regular season.

The A’s took advantage of a reeling Rangers team, as Esteury Ruiz hit a game-tying solo homer in the fifth and Shea Langeliers crushed a go-ahead two-run long ball in the sixth.

Langeliers went to Keller High School in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and attended Baylor in Waco, Texas, so every trip to Arlington is a homecoming for the A’s catcher.

“Lot of family, lot of friends,” Langeliers told NBC Sports California’s Chris Townsend and Dave Stewart on “A’s Postgame Live” after the game. “It’s always fun coming back to Texas, coming back home to play baseball in front of all the people I love, so always have a blast here and try to enjoy it as much as I can.”

Ryan Noda provided an insurance run with an RBI double in the seventh inning.

A’s starter Paul Blackburn labored through three innings, allowing six hits, two earned runs and three walks while striking out five on 87 pitches.

“He didn’t have his stuff tonight,” Langeliers told Townsend and Stewart. “He wasn’t as sharp but he went out there and competed, gave it everything he had today and we came away with the win tonight, so we’re happy.”

The A’s got on the board in the first inning Friday when rookie Zack Gelof showed off his incredible speed — and baseball instincts — by scoring from second base on a routine groundout to first base.

Reliever Easton Lucas made his MLB debut for the A’s, and allowed two hits, one earned run and two walks in his only inning of work.

After Lucas left the game, A’s relievers Devin Sweet, Lucas Erceg and Dany Jimenez and Trevor May combined for five scoreless innings to close the door on the Rangers.

“They were phenomenal tonight,” Langeliers said. “Came into the game and threw strikes, they attacked the strike zone, executed our game plan and kept us in the game and gave us a chance to win.”

Long since eliminated from playoff contention, the A’s have a chance to play spoiler over the final few weeks of the season, and they did just that Friday night by sending the Rangers to their fourth straight loss.

Source: Yahoo Sports


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