ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — John Jaso drove in three runs, helping Scott Kazmir and the Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 9-3 Sunday night.
Jaso had a run-scoring single during Oakland’s five-run second inning and added a two-run double in the fifth.
The Athletics’ first three batters – Jaso, Stephen Vogt and Yoenis Cespedes – each had a double and a single, and Josh Reddick added three singles.
Kazmir (12-3) moved into a tie for the American League lead while allowing seven hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out two.
The victory enabled Oakland to remain two games ahead of the second-place Los Angeles Angels in the AL West. The Athletics are 7-5 against the Rangers this season.
Adam Rosales had a two-run homer in the second for the Rangers, and Adrian Beltre added a solo shot off reliever Evan Scribner in the eighth. Beltre was 2 for 3 with a double and a walk.
Miles Mikolas (1-3) allowed seven earned runs on seven hits and four walks in 4 2-3 innings.
With one out in the second inning, Mikolas walked Jed Lowrie and Eric Sogard. Craig Gentry, the No. 9 hitter, hit a soft grounder to Mikolas, who threw to second hoping to start a double play but the ball went into center field. Lowrie scored on the play.
Jaso and Vogt followed with run-scoring hits. Cespedes doubled to drive in the final two runs.
Jaso has an 11-game hitting streak against Texas and a 15-game streak as the Athletics’ leadoff batter. He is batting .394 (13 for 33) against the Rangers this season and .380 (19 for 50) in his last 15 games overall.
Texas cut the gap to 5-2 on Rosales’ homer in the bottom of the inning.
In the fifth, Sogard doubled home the Athletics’ sixth run. After Mikolas walked Gentry with two out, left-hander Ryan Feierabend came on and gave up Jaso’s double that stretched the lead to 8-2.
Reddick singled against Feierabend to drive in another run in the sixth inning.
NOTES: Texas rookie RHP Roman Mendez pitched a perfect eighth inning. He has not allowed a run in 11 innings during his first eight major league games. … Rangers LHP Derek Holland could pitch in his first game this season Wednesday on an injury-rehab assignment for Double-A Frisco. Holland, on the 60-day disabled list following offseason surgery on his left knee, threw in the bullpen and took fielding practice before Sunday’s game. Manager Ron Washington said of the possible appearance, “We’re going to sit and discuss it.” … RHP Nick Tepesch, who left Saturday’s start in the seventh inning because of a sore left knee, said he plans to make his next scheduled start Friday in Cleveland. … Athletics CF Coco Crisp was not in the starting lineup because “his neck was bothering him again,” according to manager Bob Melvin. … Oakland activated INF Alberto Callaspo (strained right hamstring) from the disabled list and optioned 1B Nate Freiman to Triple-A Sacramento. … The game-time temperature was 100 degrees.