Athletics 9, Rangers 8: Yoenis Cespedes continued his sizzling September by belting a three-run homer and Josh Donaldson also went deep and drove in three runs as visiting Oakland extended its advantage atop the American League West.
Brandon Moss added a solo homer and Derek Norris collected three hits and a run scored for the Athletics, who nearly squandered a 9-2 lead to win for the 14th time in 18 contests. Oakland increased its lead to 4 1/2 games over second-place Texas, which has dropped nine of 11.
Dan Straily (10-7) notched his fourth straight victory following a seven-start winless streak after allowing two runs on as many hits in 5 2/3 innings. Elvis Andrus and Alex Rios ripped two-run singles and Leonys Martin and Rios added run-scoring hits during a six-run eighth inning, but Sean Doolittle recorded the final four outs - including striking out the side in the ninth - for his second save.
Cespedes wasted little time extending his hitting streak to eight games after depositing an 0-2 sinker from Derek Holland (9-9) over the wall in center field. The Cuban's first-inning homer increased his impressive stretch to seven straight games with at least one RBI.
Texas rebounded after the three-run shot to trim the deficit to 3-2 in the bottom of the first, but Donaldson followed with a solo shot in the third to extend his career-best hitting streak to nine games. He added a two-run double in the fourth to give Oakland a 6-2 lead.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Rios was ejected by third base umpire Andy Fletcher after being called out on a throw from Cespedes to end the eighth inning. ... Holland dropped his third straight start and extended his winless stretch to seven outings after permitting six runs on eight hits in three innings. ... Texas 3B Adrian Beltre had an RBI single among his three hits.