ARLINGTON, Texas — Chris Bassitt pitched seven innings to win his eighth consecutive decision, Jed Lowrie drove in runs with a single and a no-doubt home run and the Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 5-1 on Thursday for a series split.
Bassitt (8-2) started Oakland’s opener and lost his first two games. He’s gone 8-0 with a 2.95 ERA in 14 starts since for the longest winning streak among American League pitchers this season. The right-hander allowed only five singles and one run while striking out four with three walks.
The A’s (46-31) bounced back from their first road series loss of this season at the New York Yankees last weekend. But the four-game split dropped then behind Houston in the AL West; the A’s arrived in Texas having led the division for all but one day since April 19.
Lowrie’s RBI single in the first was already the fourth hit for the A’s, and put them up 3-0 against left-hander Kolby Allard (2-3). Ramón Laureano had an RBI double and another run scored on a groundout.
Allard managed to make it through six innings, and the only other run he allowed was Lowrie’s 433-foot homer to straightaway center leading off the fourth. It was the sixth homer of the season for Lowrie, and the 19th in 12 games for Oakland.
Texas got its only run after Eli White was hit by a pitch leading off the second, moved up two bases on the same wild pitch and scored on Nick Solak’s groundout. White also had two singles and is 8 for 15 his last four games.
The Rangers (27-48) have gone 9-30 since they reached .500 with a win over Seattle on May 9. The 21 games under .500 match their season low point. … Joe Barlow, a 25-year-old right-hander selected by Texas in the 11th round of the 2016 amateur draft, made his major league debut and struck out his first two batters in a perfect eighth.
Athletics: RHP Mike Fiers likely won’t throw again for at least four more weeks because of an injection for his sprained right elbow. He visited Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday after he felt discomfort when trying to resume throwing this week. Fiers has made only two starts this season, the last May 6. … Laureano, the usual center fielder, was the DH for the second time in the series, and only his eighth game since missing 17 because of a straight right hip. “With the injury that he had, if we can get him off the turf here where he feels it a little bit more, I know he does, it’s a way to get his bat in the lineup,” Melvin said. “Hopefully, once we get back to regular surface we won’t have an issue with that.” … Melvin said LF Mark Canha left in the third inning because of a left hip strain and will have an MRI on Friday.
Athletics: End the first of their three 10-game trips this season close to home. Left-hander Sean Manaea (6-3, 3.01), who has a 1.19 ERA over his last six starts, pitches Friday night in the opener of a three-game series against the Giants in San Francisco
Rangers: Remain home for a three-game series against Kansas City, with former Rangers starter Mike Minor (6-4, 4.18) set to face them Friday night. Rookie right-hander Dane Dunning (2-6 4.71) starts for Texas.