OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Ten pitches into the game, Matt Garza was already behind by three runs. It got a little better but not enough to make a difference.
Garza threw a complete game, Ian Kinsler hit a home run and Adrian Beltre also drove in a run as the Texas Rangers saw their season-high matching five-game winning streak come to an end as the Oakland Athletics won 4-2 on Saturday.
Garza (1-1) lost for the first time since June 11, when he was with the Cubs, and the Rangers lost ground on the AL West Division leading A’s for the first time in nearly a week, falling 3 1-2 games back.
“I gave up three runs and four hits through the first five hitters and only threw 10 pitches,” Garza said. “I was throwing strikes. Just try grinding it out the rest of the way.”
Yoenis Cespedes hit a two-run home run and Jed Lowrie singled in a run in the first. Eric Sogard drove in an insurance run with a safety squeeze in the seventh.
“Back to back bunts in the first inning let me know they were going to play small ball,” Garza said. “Cespedes hit that rocket shot, kind of hung up there and carried out. It’s 3-0 out of the gate and your mindset is to keep attacking and keep your guys in the game.”
Garza hollered at Sogard after the play in the seventh inning gave the A’s a cushion.
“I asked him if there were any good places to eat in Oakland,” Garza joked afterward.
Sogard said he couldn’t make out what Garza was saying.
“We scored a run though,” he said, “so he’s not going to be happy.”
Garza, who pitched in Oakland on July 3 with the Chicago Cubs, allowed runs in the first inning for the first time since last July 5 in Atlanta, when he gave up four.
“I didn’t really do my job but I got deep into the game and gave the bullpen some rest,” Garza said.
Garza, who earned the Rangers second complete game of the season, retired 12 of the next 13 hitters he faced.
“He was good,” Rangers’ manager Ron Washington said. “He gave up three runs in the beginning and finished the baseball game for us. That was a good performance.”
Beltre singled home a run in the third and Kinsler hit a one-out home run in the fifth to bring the Rangers within 3-2.
A’s starter Jarrod Parker (7-6) allowed more than five hits in a start for the first time since May 22, when he allowed six hits to the Rangers in Texas, a span of 12 starts.
NOTES: Rangers Michael Kirkman (form of skin cancer) went five innings in his first rehab start on Friday night. He’s been on the DL since June 9. … Texas RHP Neftali Feliz (Tommy John surgery) pitched an inning in the Arizona Rookie League on Friday. He will be rehabbed as a reliever. … Rangers LHP Matt Harrison (back) will continue his rehab with a start Sunday with Double-A Frisco. … Rangers RHP Colby Lewis (elbow surgery) was scheduled to make his fourth rehab start at Frisco on Saturday. … LHP Derek Holland (8-6, 3.18) starts Sunday’s series finale for the Rangers. He has won four straight decisions against the A’s. … Texas IF Elvis Andrus singled in the seventh to extend his career-high hitting streak to 16 games.
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