Forum Spin Doctor
OAKLAND, Calif. - Mark DeRosa hit three-run homers in consecutive innings, and the Texas Rangers hit five homers Wednesday in a much-needed 14-0 victory over Barry Zito and the Oakland Athletics.
Carlos Lee scored four runs and went 4-for-5 with his first homer for Texas, while Rod Barajas and Gary Matthews Jr. also hit solo homers to stop the A's six-game winning streak.
With 17 hits and seven dominant innings from Vicente Padilla, the Rangers emphatically avoided a three-game sweep that would have left them 7 1/2 games behind the first-place A's in the AL West.
DeRosa, the light-hitting infielder with just 25 homers before this season, went 4-for-5 with a career-high six RBIs in his first career multihomer game. He has been a veritable slugger recently, with three homers in his last two games - and his first career grand slam last Friday in Los Angeles.
He connected in the fifth against Zito (12-8), who gave up four homers and 11 hits. DeRosa then added another three-run drive off Brad Halsey in Texas' seven-run sixth inning.
Bobby Kielty had three hits for the A's, who made three errors and failed to get a runner to third base while losing for just the second time in 11 games overall. It was their biggest margin of defeat this season, surpassing a 15-2 loss to the Yankees on opening day.
Padilla (12-7) cruised for the Rangers, allowing six hits - all singles - and getting an embarrassment of run support to win for the sixth time in eight starts.
After losing the series opener Monday and then blowing a four-run lead in a 7-6 loss Tuesday night, the Rangers were vocal about needing a momentum-turning win - and they backed up their words by blasting Oakland's ace, who hit a lowlight in his solid season on the way to impending free agency.
Zito, who had won four of his previous five starts, never retired the side in order and managed just two strikeouts. Though he was 10-4 since mid-May, he has allowed 18 runs in his last four starts.
Texas already led 2-0 before sending 19 batters to the plate and scoring 11 runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Matthews and Mark Teixeira joined DeRosa with two hits apiece in those innings, culminating in Jerry Hairston's two-run double.
While the Rangers relaxed, the A's got frustrated: Outfielder Milton Bradley was ejected for the first time in more than two years, a departure that followed a sixth-inning popout.
Lee hit the Rangers' first homer, connecting on a solo shot in the first inning. He hit 28 homers for Milwaukee this season, but hadn't connected since joining the Rangers in a trade on July 28.
Barajas added a solo homer in the fourth, and Matthews led off the fifth with another solo shot - all into the left-field stands. After Lee singled and Teixeira doubled to left, DeRosa put his 10th homer of the season into left as well.