Punchless A’s fall to Rangers as Kotsay gets first ejection

OAKLAND — The A’s continued to come up empty at the plate Saturday, wasting a strong performance from starter Frankie Montas and losing 2-0 to the Texas Rangers at the Coliseum before a crowd of 9,120.

The game was scoreless until Brad Miller hit a two-run single in the seventh against Domingo Acevedo, bringing home two runs charged to Montas, who fell to 2-2. The second of those runs came on a catcher’s obstruction call at the plate and led to the ejection of A’s manager Mark Kotsay.

Montas got the first out of the eighth on a ground out before giving up singles to Adolis Garcia and Willie Calhoun. That was it for Montas, with Acevedo coming in to get a ground out to pinch-hitter Jonah Heim that advanced the runners to second and third.

Miller sliced ​​a single to left, scoring Garcia. Willie Calhoun also tried to score, but was ruled out at the plate on Kemp’s throw to Murphy. On a crew chief review, it was ruled Murphy had illegally blocked the plate with his left leg rather than gave the runner a lane to home. That allowed Calhoun to score also and gave Miller a two-run single.

Kotsay went out to argue before the A’s came to the plate in the bottom of the eighth and was ejected for the first time in his managerial career.

Montas gave up three hits and the two earned runs in 7 1/3 innings, walking one and striking out eight. He was matched through six innings Martin Perez, who held the A’s scoreless.

Brock Burke (2-0) was the winning pitcher in relief for the Rangers, who improved to 5-9 while the A’s fell to 8-8. Matt Bush pitched the ninth for Texas, getting his first save. The A’s managed just three hits against four Texas pitchers.

The A’s didn’t get a runner to second base with less than two out until the seventh, but failed to score.

Stephen Piscotty, in his first game back after missing eight games on the COVID-19 list, hit a one-out double to center on pure hustle as center fielder Garcia double-clutched his throw. Elvis Andrus followed by getting hit by a pitch.

Burke, who opened the inning after Martin Perez threw scoreless ball over the first six innings, then retired Christian Lopes on an infield popup to first and then Cristian Pache on a bouncer to short to end the threat.

ALLEN RUNS IT DOWN

Rookie Nick Allen, who made a throwing error on his first chance in his first start at shortstop, erased the mistake by turning a double play on the next batter but saved his best play for the fourth inning.

With the outfield swung around to the right and the left-handed-hitting Mitch Garver up, Allen somehow ran down a ball in medium-depth left field and caught it with relative ease for the third out of the inning. Had it fallen in, Corey Seager, who had drawn a two-out walk, would have possibly scored from first base.

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