The homer bug that bit the Oakland Athletics in the late innings of Tuesday’s loss to the Texas Rangers came back again Wednesday, and this time it didn’t take until the final innings.
Back-to-back homers in the first inning by Jurickson Profar and Joey Gallo set the tone, and Daniel Mengden gave up two more homers on the night in an 8-2 loss, as the Rangers swept the brief two-game set.
The ageless Bartolo Colon was the winning pitcher for Texas (27-37), earning his 243rd career win by scattering six hits across five innings. The win tied him with Juan Marichal for most wins by a pitcher from the Dominican Republic. Colon struck out just one and walked two, but induced soft contact and had the lead for almost the entirety of his outing.
Profar’s two-run shot with two outs in the first was immediately followed by Gallo, and Profar added another in the third inning to make it 4-0. Ronald Guzman’s two-run blast in the fourth piled on, and though Mengden did complete the inning, it was by far his worst start since April. Four of the five hits he allowed cleared the fences, and he issued a season-high three walks. In his prior 12 starts, he had walked just eight batters.
Oakland (31-31) did get two runs back in the fifth on Khris Davis’ 15th home run of the year, but could never get any closer. Trailing 8-2 in the eighth, Davis was thrown out at the plate on a Mark Canha single after the A’s had put two men on with no outs. Jose Leclerc struck out both Matt Chapman and Jonathan Lucroy, and though Canha singled, Nomar Mazara gunned down Davis at the plate to end the inning.
Liam Hendriks allowed two runs in his return from the disabled list. In his second inning of work, the Australian issued three walks, and Profar knocked in two more with a bloop single off Ryan Dull. It was the only baserunner Dull allowed, and he struck out three of the next four batters.
Matt Bush, Jake Diekman, Leclerc and Tony Barnette each pitched a scoreless inning for the Rangers. Danny Coulombe pitched a scoreless fifth for the A’s, and Canha had three hits. Oakland outhit the hosts 11-7, but the four homers turned the game into a rout.