MLB: Jon Gray dominates as Rangers shut out Athletics

Nathaniel Lowe and Ezequiel Duran hit home runs, Jon Gray took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, and the Texas Rangers won for the second time in three days over the host Oakland Athletics, 5-0 on Saturday afternoon.

Responding quickly to a walk-off loss the night before, the Rangers scored in the first inning, then again in the third and fourth, en route to a front-running win, their sixth on a 10-day trip that ends Sunday.

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After an RBI single by Lowe and a sacrifice fly by Marcus Semien had put the visitors in front 2-0 through three innings, Texas flexed its muscles to do the rest of its scoring. Lowe belted a solo shot in the fourth and Duran a two-run blast in the ninth.

Lowe’s homer, his fifth of the season, came off A’s starter James Kaprielian (0-3), who was a late addition to the starting rotation after being called up from Triple-A.

Duran’s fifth homer of the year came off Oakland reliever Zach Neal, who was promoted from the minors earlier in the week with an eye on potentially starting a game. Instead, he made his first major league appearance since 2018 out of the bullpen, working the final two innings and allowing two runs with three strikeouts.

Kaprielian, who had made three starts and three relief appearances for the A’s before being demoted last month, went seven innings, allowing three runs and six hits. He walked one and struck out seven.

Gray (3-1) coasted through his eight innings, limiting the A’s to three hits while walking two and striking out five.

He retired the first nine batters he faced, allowed walks in the fourth and fifth, then got two outs into the seventh before Jace Peterson singled to right field.

With the A’s down 3-0, Ramon Laureano followed with a double to right, but right fielder Adolis Garcia gunned down Peterson at the plate to end the inning and preserve the shutout.

Jordan Diaz got Oakland’s third hit off Gray in the eighth.

The A’s also threatened in the ninth against John King, making his 2023 season debut, after one-out singles by Carlos Perez and Shea Langeliers. But King induced a double-play grounder off the bat of Friday’s hero, Brent Rooker, to nail down Texas’ fourth shutout of the year and second in three games.

Josh Jung and Leody Tavares joined Lowe in the two-hit club for the Rangers, who out-hit Oakland 9-5.

–Field Level Media

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