A’s Blank Rangers, Avoid the Sweep – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Cole Irvin and three relievers combined on a four-hit pitch, Stephen Piscotty homered in his second game back from the COVID-19 injured list, and the Oakland Athletics beat the Oakland Rangers 2-0 on Sunday. Texas to avoid a series sweep.

Irvin (2-1) allowed one hit over five innings to win his second straight decision. The left-hander didn’t allow a hit after Marcus Semien’s infield single leading off the game. Semien was forced out and Irvin allowed three runners after that, two on walks and one on error.

“I found some confidence in my slider grip and figured out what I was doing to throw it more consistently,” Irvin said. “The cutter moved like a slider, but it was fun to throw, it kept guys off balance. The fastball command was also great. I’m still learning how to throw a little more at this level.”

Semien, the former A’s infielder who signed a seven-year, $175 million contract with Texas after one season in Toronto, had two hits for the Rangers. He doubled up on Snead in the eighth.

Zach Johnson pitched two sharp innings, Kirby Snead retired three batters and Dany Jimenez came out of a jam with two outs and two in the ninth for his third save.

The A’s had scored one run in the first 21 innings against the Rangers before Piscotty drove in two runs off Spencer Howard (0-1) in the fourth. Piscotty hit a 2-for-2 pitch into the left-field bleachers, two batters after Sean Murphy reached on an infield single.

“This weekend was a little tough offensively,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said. “We did a better job (today) of being patient and working counts. It’s great to see Stephen healthy. You can see the joy in the way he plays.”

Texas, seeking its first Coliseum sweep since 2015, had won four in a row.

Howard, activated from the disabled list before the game was originally scheduled to start before manager Chris Woodward opted to go with Garrett Richards as the starter.

Richards pitched two shutout innings in his first start since Aug. 8, 2021. The right-hander has been used primarily as a reliever for Texas ever since.

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