Stephen Piscotty drove in three runs with a home run, single and sacrifice fly, and right-hander Chris Bassitt threw five shutout innings in his season debut as the host Oakland Athletics eased past the Texas Rangers 6-1 on Monday night in the opener of a three-game series.
Coming off a three-game home sweep at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays, the A's wasted little time jumping on Texas starter Mike Minor (2-2), with Piscotty blasting his fourth homer of the season with one out in the second inning.
A sacrifice fly by Matt Chapman made it 2-0 in the third before the A's pulled away in the sixth on two walks, an RBI double by Chad Pinder and Piscotty's sacrifice fly -- a ball Rangers center fielder Delino DeShields prevented from going for extra bases with a diving catch on the warning track in left-center field.
Piscotty got his revenge in the eighth inning, going to right-center for an RBI single that plated Chapman. Pinder also scampered home when DeShields misplayed the ball to make it a 6-1 game.
Bassitt (1-0), injured when hit in the knee by a line drive in an exhibition game in Japan, was brilliant in his first appearance this season, shutting out the Rangers on two hits over five innings. He walked four and struck out seven.
Bassitt was pulled after 92 pitches, handing the ball off to A's relievers Ryan Dull, J.B. Wendelken, Joakim Soria and Fernando Rodney, who combined to limit Texas to one run and four hits over the last four innings.
Down 4-0, the Rangers got on the scoreboard the seventh when pinch hitter Patrick Wisdom doubled home Jeff Mathis, who had opened the inning with a single.
Facing the potential tying run, Wendelken got Nomar Mazara on a comebacker to end the inning with the score 4-1.
Minor went six innings, giving up four runs and four hits. He walked three and struck out four.
Minor pitched six shutout innings the last time he pitched in Oakland, in August of last year, giving up only one hit en route to his 10th win of the season.
Piscotty and Pinder had two hits apiece for the A's, who out-hit the Rangers 7-6.
The A's were outscored 20-6 in their three losses to Toronto in their previous three games.
Shin-Soo Choo had a single and a double for the Rangers, who split two high-scoring contests when the clubs met in Texas in mid-April. The A's won the first game 8-6 before Texas won the second game 8-7 -- with the middle game rained out.
--Field Level Media