By Greg Beacham
The Associated Press
OAKLAND – Precious little luck has run the Texas Rangers’ way since Alex Rodriguez joined them before last season.
When a big dose of good fortune helped the Rangers snap their eight-game losing streak on Sunday with a remarkable victory, Rodriguez hoped it was the start of a bigger change.
Ivan Rodriguez drove in the go-ahead run with a bases-loaded single in the 12th as the Rangers survived three straight innings of peril before rallying for a 7-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics.
Gabe Kapler had a two-run single and Alex Rodriguez hit an RBI triple in a five-run burst in the 12th as the Rangers escaped the Coliseum with just their second victory since the All-Star break.
The final score made it look easy, but the 16 runners left on base by the A’s — including nine in the final four innings — suggested otherwise. On almost every key play, the Rangers got the break.
“It felt so good to sneak one out,” said Alex Rodriguez, who went 3-for-5. “I think we’ve hit rock-bottom. It was nice to come up with a big win. Hopefully, we’re on the way up now. This could change a lot of things for us.”
Oakland wasted another strong start by Mark Mulder and several chances to claim their fourth straight victory. The A’s stranded two runners in the ninth and left the bases loaded in the 10th and 11th.
“We finally got some big outs when we needed them,” Texas manager Jerry Narron said. “When you do that, you win ballgames.”
In the 12th, Jim Mecir (3-2) allowed Ivan Rodriguez’s drive to center field and Michael Young’s sacrifice fly before Kapler and Alex Rodriguez put it out of reach.
Jay Powell (2-1) allowed three hits and three intentional walks while pitching out of two jams for the victory, giving Texas a rare dose of resilient relief pitching.
“All it takes is one hit. They got it, we didn’t,” Oakland manager Art Howe said. “It looked like we were taking strikes and swinging at balls.”
Adam Piatt had an RBI single in the 12th against Todd Van Poppel.