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A’s topple Rangers again, push 2nd-half record to .500

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Sean Manaea, pictured here earlier this month, delivered 6.2 innings on Thursday. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)
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In the opening game of the final series of 2017, the Oakland Athletics continued their recent dominance over the Texas Rangers and lifted their second-half record to an even .500 (35-35).

Thanks to a gem from Sean Manaea and a trio of key hits from Matt Chapman and Ryon Healy, the A’s dispatched the Rangers 4-1 — pushing their winning streak to seven against their American League West rivals.

Manaea, who took the mound for the final time, delivered 6.2 innings, surrendering a single unearned run on three hits and three walks while striking out six Rangers.

“That’s finishing on a strong note for a guy that was really grinding toward the end,” manager Bob Melvin told MLB.com. “[He] had a couple bouts this season with adversity and pitched through it, and he will be better for it come next year.”

The only run against Manaea, who closed the year with a 12-10 record and a 4.37 ERA, came in the fifth. Second baseman Drew Robinson singled in designated hitter Willie Calhoun who had reached base courtesy of a Marcus Semien throwing error.

Robinson’s run-scoring hit erased what had been a 1-0 advantage — supplied by Chapman — for the guests. Half an inning prior, Chapman connected on a 413-foot homer, his 14th of the season.

In the sixth, Ryon Healy provided what proved to be the decisive swing, singling in Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis. Chapman added on a ninth-inning insurance run with a ground-ball single, before Blake Treinen clinched the win with his 12th save for Oakland.

September to remember
With a 16-10 record in September, the A’s have already secured a winning record in the final month of 2017. The team’s 16 September wins also marks its most in a month since winning 17 in June of 2014.

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