ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers rallied for the third time in the series against Oakland, this time pulling out a 4-3 victory over the A's on Thursday afternoon at Rangers Ballpark thanks to a clutch hit by Ian Kinsler in the seventh and a perfect game-ending relay throw to home plate. The Rangers took three out of four games from the A's, pulling within a game of Oakland in the American League West standings.
Rangers break through: Poor defense put the Rangers in a 3-2 hole, but Kinsler fixed that. With the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the seventh, Kinsler worked the count full against A's reliever Sean Doolittle and lined a single back up the middle to score two runs and give the Rangers a 4-3 lead.
Kinsler ties record: Kinsler stole his 161st career base in the seventh inning, tying him with Bump Wills for the all-time club lead.
Fantastic finish: Closer Joe Nathan fanned the first two A's he faced in the bottom of the ninth, then allowed a single to Josh Donaldson and a single to Seth Smith. Donaldson was running on the Smith's single and was waved around third after Craig Gentry bobbled the ball in center field. But Gentry got the ball to Elvis Andrus, who delivered a perfect relay throw to A.J. Pierzynski at home to get Smith to end the game.
Lindblom is solid: Rangers starter Josh Lindblom allowed base runners in every inning but still did what you ask a No. 5 starter to do -- keep his team in the game. He allowed two runs on eight hits and two walks and was hurt by a poor defensive play by Jurickson Profar, but he limited the damage.
Ugly start to sixth: The Rangers used four pitchers in the top of the sixth with the score tied at 1. With Lindblom still in, the inning started with Profar making a lazy throw to first base after a diving stop on what should have been the first out of the inning, but instead was an infield single for Brandon Moss. Donaldson followed with a single to right to chase Lindblom. Rangers manager Ron Washington went to left-hander Joseph Ortiz, who walked the only batter he faced to load the bases. Washington went to the bullpen again for right-hander Jason Frasor against pinch hitter Chris Young, who walked to force in the go-ahead run. Washington then went to lefty Robbie Ross, who kept the top of the sixth inning from turning into a complete nightmare for the Rangers. Coming in with the bases loaded and still no outs, Ross struck out pinch hitter Adam Rosales, got Coco Crisp to pop out to second and John Jaso to strike out, keeping the deficit at 2-1.
Soto sighting: Rangers backup catcher Geovany Soto had one hit in his last 18 at-bats before he launched a home run just over the the center-field wall in the bottom of the fifth to tie the score at 1. It was Soto's third home run and first since May 18 against Detroit.
Up next: The Rangers open a three-game series against St. Louis in their first meeting since the Cardinals rallied to win the 2011 World Series with back-to-back wins at Busch Stadium. The series opens with Rangers left-hander Derek Holland (5-4, 3.30 ERA) facing Cardinals left-hander Tyler Lyons (2-3, 4.65) on Friday night at 7:15 p.m. on Ch. 21 and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM (1540 AM in Spanish).