Travis Blackley tossed seven strong innings and Brandon Moss homered as the A’s avoided a four-game sweep by beating the Texas Rangers 3-1.
The A’s took the lead in the top of the sixth inning when Jemile Weeks reached on a fielder’s choice, took third on a double by Yoenis Cespedes and scored on a wild pitch by Yu Darvish (10-5). Moss then hit the first pitch of the seventh inning over the right-field fence to pad Oakland’s margin.
Blackley (2-2) scattered seven hits while striking out three without a walk. He wiggled his way out of a third-inning jam and retired 12 of the last 14 hitters he faced. An error by Oakland third baseman Brandon Inge allowed Texas to bring the go-ahead run to the plate against Grant Balfour in the eighth inning, but Jerry Blevins got Josh Hamilton to pop up for the final out and Ryan Cook worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his seventh save.
After managing just one hit through the first four innings, Oakland finally cracked Darvish in the fifth. Seth Smith led off with a double and scored on a base hit to left by Derek Norris, tying the game at 1-1. The Rangers had drawn first blood on an RBI single by Elvis Andrus in the third inning.
Darvish gave up five hits and walked three in his seven innings, striking out 11.
NOTES: Blackley has allowed just six runs in his last 28 innings of work. ... Darvish reached double digits in strikeouts for the third time in his last four starts and the fifth time this season. ... Hamilton, who batted just .223 in June, went 0-for-4 Sunday to drop his average to .314. ... Seven members of the Rangers were voted to the AL All-Star team on Sunday: Andrus, Adrian Beltre, Josh Hamilton, Matt Harrison, Ian Kinsler, Mike Napoli and Joe