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A’s exes live in Texas

Kouzmanoff, Murphy key rally, burn former club

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POSTED April 22, 2014 12:33 a.m.

OAKLAND (AP) — Donnie Murphy lined a go-ahead single up the middle with one out in the eighth inning, and the Texas Rangers rallied from an early three-run deficit to beat the Oakland Athletics 4-3 on Monday.

Sean Doolittle (0-1) allowed a leadoff double to Kevin Kouzmanoff and Mitch Moreland sacrificed him to third before Murphy’s hit. Murphy and Kouzmanoff are both former A’s players.

Neal Cotts (1-1) pitched one inning for the win, then gave way to Alexi Ogando before Joakim Soria finished for his fourth save.

Brandon Moss homered and Coco Crisp hit a two-run single as the A’s went ahead 3-0 in the second, but they couldn’t hold the lead.

Kouzmanoff also singled in a run for the Rangers, who had their season-best five-game winning streak snapped in Sunday’s 16-2 home loss to the White Sox.

Yu Darvish needed 29 pitches to get through the second inning, when he allowed Moss’ leadoff homer and the single by Crisp. Darvish allowed three runs on eight hits in six innings, struck out six and walked four.

The right-hander hasn’t beaten Oakland since May 16, 2012, and is still looking for his first victory at the Coliseum — one of three ballparks where he has multiple losses. Darvish is 0-6 in his last seven starts against the A’s. He saw the end of his streak of eight straight outings allowing two or fewer runs, dating to last season.

Shin-Soo Choo led off the game with a home run. He later left the game in the seventh after landing awkwardly on his left ankle extending his leg to beat out what was ruled an infield single. A’s manager Bob Melvin challenged the call, which was then overturned in 3 minutes, 45 seconds, on review.

Oakland starter Dan Straily struck out six in five innings, but left with a no-decision after the Rangers tied the game at 3 on Prince Fielder’s RBI single in the top of the fifth.

Crisp landed hard on his ribcage trying to make a diving catch in the sixth, but stayed in center field after a trainer and Melvin hustled out to check on him. Crisp singled for his third hit in the bottom half, then made a leaping catch in the seventh.

A’s left fielder Yoenis Cespedes was held out of the starting lineup with a sore heel, though he reported feeling better. Cespedes flied out to the warning track in center as a pinch-hitter in the seventh then stayed in the game as left fielder.

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