ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)Mark Mathias hit his second homer of the game, a solo shot with one out in the bottom of the ninth, as the Texas Rangers rallied from a five-run deficit to beat the Oakland Athletics 8-7 on Tuesday night.
Mathias had three extra-base hits and drove in four runs. Adolis Garcia added a two-run homer and had three RBIs for Texas.
Mathias hit his decisive homer to left off Joel Payamps (3-5), who came on in the ninth.
Brock Burke (7-3), the last of three Texas pitchers, threw two scoreless innings to earn the win.
With the Rangers having played a day-night doubleheader in Miami on Monday, Mathias hit second in the batting order for the first time with Texas.
It was his first walk-off homer in the majors. He had a walk-off single with Milwaukee, which traded him to Texas on Aug. 1. He was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock on Aug. 16.
”Walking down the dugout steps, I thought, `I could end the game with one swing,’ ” Mathias said. ”I was just trying to stay in the moment.”
Mathias has reached base in nine of his 10 Rangers starts.
”He understands the strike zone,” Texas interim manager Tony Beasley said. ”He uses the whole field. He just gives us quality at-bats.”
Rookie Dermis Garcia had a three-run home run in the first inning and had a run-scoring double in the fifth while setting a career high with four RBIs for the A’s, who have lost 10 of their last 12 games.
Texas rallied from a 7-2 deficit with three runs in the fifth and two in the seventh.
”You have a five-run lead in the fifth inning, you expect to win the game,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said. ”You tip your cap sometimes to the other team for having that fight.”
Oakland’s Cristian Pache hit a two-run single to cap a three-run third inning.
After Dermis Garcia staked the A’s to a 3-0 lead, the Rangers answered with two runs in the first on RBI doubles by Adolis Garcia and rookie Josh Jung.
Jung, brought up from Round Rock on Friday, had an RBI double in the first and has a Texas record five extra-base hits in his first six major league games.
The Rangers’ Marcus Semien hit a career-high three doubles for his third three-hit game in September.
Oakland’s Chad Pinder had his third three-hit game of the season, his first since July 17.
Neither rookie starter seeking his first major league win figured in the decision.
A’s left-hander Ken Waldichuk allowed five runs in five innings in his third major league start. He matched his high of six strikeouts with one walk.
Rangers left-hander Cole Ragans gave up seven runs in four-plus innings. Ragans, who made his major league debut on Aug. 4, has allowed five homers in six starts.
Playing in three locations in three days because of rescheduling following the offseason lockout, Rangers shortstop Corey Seager was given the night off, missing his first game since late July. Rookie utilityman Josh Smith made his first major league start at shortstop.
”This is what we have to do because of the hard work by our union and definitely well worth it,” Semien said.
Of the five previous Rangers who had five extra-base hits in their first four big-league games, the most recent was Drew Robinson in 2017. Robinson, who last played in the big leagues in 2019, threw out the ceremonial first pitch on Tuesday night in recognition of Suicide Prevention Month. Robinson survived a suicide attempt in 2020.
Athletics LHP J.P. Sears (5-2, 3.33 ERA) will face Rangers RHP Dane Dunning (3-8, 4.39) in Wednesday night’s finale of the two-game set. Sears gave up six runs (and three home runs) in two innings losing to the Chicago White Sox in his previous start. Dunning beat the A’s on Aug. 18 with one of his 10 quality starts (two runs in six innings).
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