The Rangers, shut out in two of the first three games of this series, piled it on the A's in Thursday's finale, claiming a 10-1 victory to spoil right-hander Kendall Graveman's debut in green and gold at the Coliseum.
"That's the type of stuff we're looking for from our hitters," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "We're looking for that synergy of how well they work together. It played well today."
Graveman was on the hook for eight runs (seven earned) in 3 1/3 innings in his first big league start. He allowed six hits -- including homers to Moreland and Choo -- while walking one, hitting two and striking out one. Shortstop Marcus Semien drove in the A's only run on an RBI double in the eighth off rightyKeone Kela.
"I didn't make a lot of pitches, didn't locate well, and they made me pay for it," said Graveman. "I gotta change speeds more, I gotta locate better and give my team a chance to win. I didn't do that today."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Furious start: Texas set the tone for a blowout by making Graveman work hard in the first inning. By the time Moreland hit his sacrifice fly to record the game's first out, the Rangers held a 3-0 lead. It was a wild frame for Texas, which also benefitted from an errant pickoff throw by Graveman that helped leadoff man Leonys Martin and No. 2 hitter Choo reach scoring position.
Martin came around to score the game's first run when A's catcher Stephen Vogt couldn't handle a throw at the plate. Prince Fielder gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead when he singled home Choo. At last, the inning came to an end on a bizarre 5-4-2-5-2-6 double play that also included an umpire's review. More >
Grave first start: Graveman, who allowed just one earned run in 25 1/3 spring innings, surrendered two runs even before recording his first out of the day. Typically a ground ball-heavy pitcher, the rookie left one too many balls up in the zone, and he payed for it in the third, when Moreland lined a two-run home run to left field. Graveman hit his first batter of the fourth and offered up a base hit to his next. One out later, Choo launched a three-run shot to right field, leading to his departure.
"For a guy that's a sinkerball-type pitcher, he's gotta have that depth, and when he's rushing, he can't have that depth," said Vogt. "He was kind of pushing the ball, and it was staying up for the most part. That being said, those guys had some unbelievable swings today."
Martinez spins gem: While Graveman sputtered from the outset, Martinez had no such problems. Helped by a couple of early double plays, the right-hander faced the minimum 12 batters through four innings.
Oakland didn't even push a runner into scoring position until the seventh, but Martinez induced an inning-ending flyout to kill the threat and end his afternoon. Martinez tossed seven scoreless innings, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out five.
QUOTABLE "Just trying to wait until the last second. Just trying to make it interesting. I knew I was going to get one before the season was over. No panic there. It felt good. Truly felt good." -- Beltre, on snapping his 0-for-13 streak to start the year
WHAT'S NEXT Rangers: Texas will return to the Globe Life Park in Arlington for Friday's home opener against the Houston Astros. Southpaw Derek Holland is set to make his first start of the year in the 3:05 p.m. CT matchup against right-hander Collin McHugh.
A's: The A's continue a seven-game homestand with three games against the Mariners beginning Friday. Left-hander Drew Pomeranz makes his season debut and will be opposed by Seattle right-hander Taijuan Walker, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. PT at the Coliseum.