ARLINGTON, TEXAS (AP)–Shortstop Elvis Andrus and left-hander Robbie Ross were gone by the sixth inning on a tough night for them and the Texas Rangers.
Yoenis Cespedes and Eric Sogard had two-run hits off Ross in a big third inning fueled by Andrus’ second error, Oakland’s Jesse Chavez allowed one hit in seven scoreless innings Wednesday night and the A’s completed a sweep with a 12-1 rout of the sloppy Rangers.
The Rangers matched a season high with four errors, including Andrus’ flub on what could have been an inning-ending double play and a 3-0 deficit but instead turned into a seven-run third as Oakland answered a three-game sweep by Texas on the West Coast last week.
“He’s only human,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “That ground ball, I’ve seen him 99 times turn that ground ball. It just got under him.”
Sogard matched his season total with three RBIs and Cespedes had two doubles and scored twice for the A’s, who scored 10 runs combined in the third and fourth innings to complete the sweep in a series that started with the teams tied atop the AL West.
“We didn’t enjoy them coming in sweeping us and then losing the last two in Houston,” Sogard said. “It kind of really made us wake up a little bit. Our pitching was fantastic and we were able to put some runs on the board.”
Chavez (2-0) walked one and struck out eight, allowing only Prince Fielder’s soft line-drive single to right-center field in the first inning. The A’s improved to 6-0 in his starts.
“We’ve seen that game a few times already this year,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “Quality stuff all the time. Mechanics are terrific. Keeps guys off balance.”
Ross (1-2) gave up 11 hits and 10 runs in 3 1-3 innings, the shortest outing of his first season as a starter. Six runs were earned because of Andrus’ big error in Texas’ fourth straight loss.
“It snowballed on me quick,” Ross said. “This is one of those games you want to forget about and move on. That’s what everyone tells me.”
Alberto Callaspo and Derek Norris had three hits each among a season-high 17 for Oakland. Two of Norris’ hits were infield singles on choppers to third baseman Adrian Beltre and played big roles in Oakland building a quick 10-0 lead.
The burly catcher hustled to beat Beltre’s throw for the fifth straight Oakland hit in the third. Two runs scored on the next one an inning later. Craig Gentry came home as Beltre’s throw skipped past Fielder at base, and right fielder Alex Rios got the second error on the play when his throw to try to get Cespedes at home went to the backstop.
Andrus, who went 0 for 2 before coming out after five innings and has one hit in his past 28 at-bats, had his other error in the first inning when Josh Donaldson’s routine grounder jumped up and hit his hand and the throw went several feet over Fielder’s head.
“There’s going to be times either defense or offense are not on the same level,” Andrus said. “Today was both.”
Cespedes had a two-run double for a 3-0 lead in the third before the first of Norris’ infield hits. Callaspo followed with an easy grounder to Andrus, but the ball went between his legs into center field.
Sogard later made it 7-0 with a two-run single and added an RBI single in the fourth as Oakland outscored Texas 25-4 in the three games.
“When you don’t play well enough to win, you’ve just got to keep going,” Washington said. “We’ll get back to where we were. But tonight we just didn’t do it.”
Coco Crisp hit his third homer of the season, a solo shot to right in the sixth for a 12-0 lead. It was the only homer of the series in a ballpark that’s never had a three-game set without at least one home run.
Texas scored in the eighth on Josh Wilson’s RBI double off Luke Gregerson.
NOTES: Washington said Shin-Soo Choo would return to left field Friday at the Angels. Choo was DH for the second straight game after being out of the starting lineup for a week with a sprained left ankle. … Josh Reddick walked in the third to snap Ross’ streak of 21 1-3 innings without one.
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