OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Drew Pomeranz felt good while warming up for his start against the Texas Rangers. That feeling fell apart in the fourth inning.
Pomeranz lasted a season-low 3 2/3 innings and allowed a career-high eight runs – seven earned – as the Oakland Athletics lost 14-8 to the Rangers on Monday night.
“I wasn’t as sharp from the beginning,” Pomeranz said. “I felt good out there but they were patient enough as hitters to get me into bad counts. Once that happens I become predictable and that’s not a good thing.”
Pomeranz (5-4) allowed eight runs total in six games – including five starts – in May. A month ago he had an ERA of 0.94. Pomeranz saw that grow to 2.91 after his outing against the Rangers.
“I’ll get past it,” he said. “I know what I have to work on. I’ve been on a good streak of things going my way. This time, it didn’t happen. I wasn’t down as much as I like to be.”
Former A’s Donnie Murphy and Colby Lewis helped Texas win its fourth straight in Oakland. Murphy homered twice, Lewis (5-4) overcame an uneven start to win for the first time in more than three weeks.
Michael Choice, an A’s draft pick, and Robinson Chirinos also homered, and Adrian Beltre drove in three runs to lead the Rangers.
Murphy hit a two-run home run in the fourth and a solo shot in the ninth for his fourth career multihomer game.
The Rangers, who began the night eight games behind the division-leading A’s, nearly let it slip away. They led 11-3 before Oakland scored four times in the sixth and once in the eighth.
Yoenis Cespedes hit a three-run home run while Brandon Moss added his 17th for Oakland.
“We scored runs tonight and we certainly scored runs yesterday,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “With a pitching staff that’s the best in the league and usually holds teams to under four runs, things like this are going to happen.”
Lewis (5-4) allowed 10 hits and five runs over 5 1-3 innings to win for the first time since May 25.
Coco Crisp got the A’s going early when he doubled past diving Texas center fielder Robertson and scored on John Jaso’s single. Cespedes added a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
Texas tied it on Chirinos’ two-run single off Pomeranz in the second, then broke the game open with a six-run fourth.
The A’s, who scored twice in the first, pulled to 10-3 on Moss’ towering solo home run in the fifth.
Lewis left after giving up back-to-back doubles to Alberto Callaspo and Crisp in the sixth. Pinch-hitter Kyle Blanks drew a walk off reliever Robbie Ross Jr. before Cespedes hit his 13th home run to cut the gap to 11-7.
Murphy and Chirinos hit back-to-back home runs off Fernando Abad in the ninth.
Pomeranz allowed eight hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
Callaspo had four hits for Oakland in his first game since being reinstated from the paternity list.
NOTES: A’s starters had not allowed a home run in seven games before giving up four to Texas. … A moment of silence was held before the game for Hall of Fame OF Tony Gwynn who died earlier in the day. … The A’s activated INF Jake Elmore from the 60-day DL and optioned him to Triple-A Sacramento. … Oakland agreed to terms with 3B Matt Chapman, their first-round pick, and SS Trace Loehr, a sixth-rounder. … RHP Yu Darvish (7-2) pitches for Texas on Wednesday seeking to extend his career-best four-game winning streak. He’ll oppose Oakland LHP Tommy Milone (4-3).