ARLINGTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 16: Oakland A’s player Shea Langeliers waves to fans while being interviewed after his Major League debut against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field on August 16, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
By SCHUYLER DIXON
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Elvis Andrus homered against his former team for the first time, Shea Langeliers doubled on the first pitch he saw in the big leagues and the Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 5-1 on Tuesday night, ending a nine-game losing streak.
Andrus, who spent his first 12 years in the majors with the Rangers before a trade to Oakland going into last season, connected on a two-run shot in the seventh inning in his 31st game against Texas. It was Andrus’ eighth homer this year.
Langeliers grew up watching Andrus at shortstop while playing for a Dallas-area high school. Leading off the second inning to cheers from family and friends in the sparse crowd of 15,260, the 24-year-old lined Kohei Arihara’s pitch down the left field line and scored the second Oakland run.
Sean Murphy hit his longest home run of the season, a 454-foot solo shot in the third. JP Sears pitched five scoreless innings in the former New York Yankees left-hander’s first win with the A’s.
Oakland avoided a second 10-game losing streak this season, which hasn’t happened since the A’s were in Philadelphia in 1945.
The Rangers had a three-game winning streak stopped a day after manager Chris Woodward was fired. Texas beat Oakland in Tony Beasley’s debut as interim manager hours after Monday’s move.
Langeliers, who went to college about 100 miles south of the home of the Rangers at Baylor, was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas. The last-place A’s released veteran outfielder Stephen Piscotty.
The ninth overall pick by Atlanta three years ago, Langeliers was acquired in the March trade that sent Matt Olson to the Braves. Debuting as the designated hitter with plans for him to be the backup catcher, Langeliers struck out his last three times up.
Arihara (0-1) allowed six hits the first time through the order in his first start for Texas since last September. The Japanese right-hander had spent the entire season with Triple-A Round Rock.
Pitching five days after his 30th birthday, Arihara settled down and tied his career highs of 5 2/3 innings and six strikeouts while allowing eight hits and three runs.
Sears (4-0) had allowed five walks in 31 1/3 innings all season with the Yankees and A’s when he walked the bases loaded with one out in the fifth. Sears escaped when right fielder Seth Brown made a running catch in foul ground on Marcus Semien’s fly ball, and Leody Taveras got caught in a rundown between third and home.
The Rangers designated OF Elier Hernandez for assignment to make room for Arihara. Texas also recalled INF/OF Mark Mathias from Round Rock and optioned RHP Yerry Rodriguez to the Triple-A club. The Rangers signed C Wilson Ramos to a minor league contract with plans to assign him to Round Rock.
The A’s called up 1B David MacKinnon along with Langeliers. They are the 53rd and 54th players for the A’s this season, matching the Oakland record reached twice previously (2007, 2017). The A’s also placed center fielder Ramón Laureano on the injured list with left side soreness.
A’s: All-Star RHP Paul Blackburn will miss the rest of the season with tendon damage in his right middle finger. A decision on surgery should come near the end of the season. Regardless, Blackburn is expected to be ready for spring training.
Oakland RHP Adam Oller (1-5, 7.26 ERA) and Texas LHP Cole Ragans (0-1, 4.82) are set for a matchup of rookies in the third game of the four-game series. Oller is on his fourth stint with the A’s. Ragans is set for his third big league start.
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