ARLINGTON, Texas -- For the second time in as many nights, the Texas Rangers entered the bottom of the ninth trailing by one run. For the second time in as many nights, the Rangers emerged victorious with a 5-2 win over the Oakland Athletics on Friday on a three-run walk-off home run, this time by Joey Gallo.
The blast by Gallo, his 12th of the season, capped a four-run ninth and extended Texas' winning streak to four games.
Keone Kela (1-1) earned the victory with two hitless innings. Closer Santiago Casilla (1-2) took the loss for Oakland, allowing four runs in one-third of an inning.
After a number of close calls and squandered opportunities by either offense, the A's took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning when Matt Joyce hit a 3-2 Andrew Cashner changeup into the right-field seats.
But in the bottom half of the inning, Texas center fielder Carlos Gomez doubled to left field and advanced to third base on a botched pickoff attempt. Delino DeShields' ensuing safety squeeze bunt was fielded cleanly by Oakland starter Jesse Hahn, but Gomez's slide was wide enough to avoid the tag and tie the game.
"It was a bad toss on my part," Hahn said, perhaps being too modest. "I needed to get it up a little more and it was a good slide by Gomez. I made it hard for (catcher Stephen) Vogt to get back around and get the tag on him."
"Well, there was a lot of energy really," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said after the game. "Anytime that Carlos is going well, and things are happening, he's been working hard, trying to stay inside the ball, drive the ball the other way. But just the at-bats, the energy and the defense ... We've got a number of guys in that dugout that really do that. But yeah, set a nice tone for us."
The A's regained the lead in the seventh on another play that was determined by mere inches. After Trevor Plouffe singled off Rangers reliever Alex Claudio, Oakland manager Bob Melvin announced pinch-hitter Mark Canha. Banister countered with right-handed reliever Jeremy Jeffress, who had not allowed any of his 10 inherited runners to score in 2017.
The 11th, however, would snap the streak. Canha's double down the left-field line barely eluded the leap of third baseman Gallo and stayed fair by inches. As it bounced off the wall in left field, it hit DeShields' shoe. It didn't go far, but the delay was just enough.
DeShields' throw one-hopped shortstop Elvis Andrus, who turned and fired a perfect strike to home plate. The throw was in time to catch the sliding Plouffe, but it popped out of catcher Jonathan Lucroy's glove. Plouffe was safe and the A's had a 2-1 lead.
"I'm fine with a righty on him," Melvin said of Canha later. "When he's swinging good, he can hit anybody. It was a time that's big, now it's a one-run game, we have our bullpen in the game and we feel like we have a chance to put it away and at the time it was a huge hit."
The lead lasted until the bottom of the ninth. After Kela had pitched his two hitless innings to keep the score static, Lucroy led off the final frame with a single, and was followed by Rougned Odor, who also blooped single to put runners at the corners. With runners on first and third, Thursday night's walk-off hero, Mike Napoli, tied the game with a sacrifice fly. Gomez doubled to put runners on second and third for Gallo, who expected he might be walked intentionally.
"I was definitely wondering why they didn't put me on," Gallo said after the game. "Maybe they knew something I didn't know, I don't know whether I've got some big weakness or something? I just wanted to get the run home. I didn't want to put one out of the stadium, just a blooper or a pop up, anything to get the run home any way I could."
Gallo worked a full count against Casilla before hitting a ball that banged off the right-field foul pole to seal the victory for the home team.
NOTES: Athletics LF Khris Davis did not strike out in this game, marking the first time in 22 games that he avoided doing so. His 21 straight games with at least one strikeout was a team record for a non-pitcher, eclipsing the previous mark of 19 set by Jack Cust. ... The Rangers' win handed manager Jeff Banister his 200th victory since taking the job before the 2015 season. ... Texas has now won four straight games for the second time this season. With the win over the A's, the Rangers moved past Oakland and out of the AL West cellar. ... The Rangers lead the A's 99-97 all-time at Globe Life Park in Arlington.