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MLB: Texas 8, Oakland 7

June 18, 2013 at 12:00 AM

ARLINGTON, Texas, June 17 (UPI) -- Nelson Cruz cracked a pair of homers, driving in four runs, and A.J. Pierzynski added three RBI Monday to help the Texas Rangers outlast Oakland 8-7.

Cruz finished 3-for-4, belting a solo homer in the fourth and a go-ahead two-run shot in the seventh. He added a run-scoring double in the seventh for an 8-6 lead, which turned out to be the decisive tally.

Pierzynski, meanwhile, launched a two-run shot in the second inning to open the scoring and supplied a game-tying two-bagger for the Rangers, who took the first of a key four-game American League West series.

Neal Cotts (3-1) earned the victory with 2 1/3 scoreless relief frames after Texas starter Nick Tepesch was roughed up for six runs over 3 2/3 innings.

Joe Nathan picked up his 21st save despite yielding a run in ninth for the second-place Rangers, who pulled two games behind AL West-leading Oakland.

Jesse Chavez (1-1) took the loss for Oakland, which fell for the third time in four games.

Coco Crisp and Seth Smith each provided two RBI for the A's.

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