ARLINGTON, Texas — Adrian Beltre got the fastball he wanted.
Beltre’s second home run of the game was a two-run shot on the first pitch from Ryan Madson with two outs in the ninth inning, and it rallied the Texas Rangers past the Oakland Athletics 7-6 Monday night for their third straight win.
“He’s a really good pitcher, really good changeup,” Beltre said. “I was hoping that he would throw me something over the plate that I could drive, and that’s exactly what he did.”
Madson was feeling good after converting all four save opportunities since the All-Star break, while Oakland was winning seven of 10 games.
“A good fastball-hitting guy, sitting fastball,” Madson said. “Maybe I was being a little bullheaded, trying to beat him instead of putting it in a good place.
“The heater I had for the last whole week, I was confident in it. It just happened to end up middle-middle to a fastball-hitting guy.”
Madson had his sixth blown save in 27 opportunities.
Ian Desmond homered early for the Rangers. They increased their AL West lead for the first time since June 26, to 3 1/2 games over Houston.
Beltre, who finished with four hits, had two singles in his first three at-bats before hitting a solo homer in the seventh against John Axford.
“What superlatives do you want me to put on it?” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “You can use them all. You could see the determination on his face.
“He had two special at-bats tonight, none bigger than the last one.”
Texas had trailed since Danny Valencia hit a two-run homer for Oakland in the first. All 13 runs in the game were scored with two outs.
Texas turned three double plays behind starter Martin Perez, who has induced a major league-best 25 in 21 games.
After the third inning, Perez held Oakland scoreless for three innings.
“I think I was more aggressive in the last three innings. Expand the zone and throw the ball where I wanted,” he said.
Valencia also had the first of three run-scoring doubles in a three-run third that gave the A’s a 5-1 lead.
Nomar Mazara singled with one out in the ninth for Texas. Desmond hit his 19th homer in the first.
Jake Diekman (2-1) worked a scoreless inning for the win.