OAKLAND, Calif. — Not long after hitting his second home run of the season Yonder Alonso stood in front of his locker and let out a deep breath, then smiled when asked what it is like to watch Oakland teammate Khris Davis at the plate.
“Special, man, special,” Alonso said. “Everybody here can see how he’s matured as a hitter. He’s swinging at strikes. He’s patient. When it’s time to swing, he lets it go.”
Davis hit his seventh home run this season as the Athletics routed the Texas Rangers 9-1 on Wednesday.
It is the 13th home run Davis has hit against the Rangers in his career and the fifth he has hit this season at the Coliseum.
“I like coming to this ballpark,” Davis said. “It’s a grungy stadium, but I don’t need the fancy art, high-tech stadium to perform. I just go out there and play.”
Chad Pinder and Josh Phegley hit two-run doubles in a four-run first that gave a quick lead to Jesse Hahn (1-1), who allowed one run and two hits over six innings, struck out four and walked four. Hahn made his second start since he was brought up from the on April 5; he allowed two runs over six innings of relief at the Rangers on April 7.
Davis hit a two-run homer in the fifth, an opposite-field drive that was his third home run in six games.
“It shouldn’t surprise me at this point, but you still kind of marvel at it,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said.
All three Oakland homers were hit off reliever Mike Hauschild.
Joey Gallo homered in the fifth for Texas, a drive off the facade below a row of luxury suites in center field. It would have traveled 437 feet had it landed unimpeded, according to Major League Baseball’s Statcast system.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister was ejected by plate umpire Bill Welke for arguing over a third-inning foul ball hit by Davis, who singled after Banister left the field.
“It was just a situation where one umpire called a ball fair, another umpire called the ball foul,” Banister said. “I want some clarification. I didn’t quite get the clarification I was looking for.”
Texas has lost five of six, dropping to last in the AL West at 5-10. Martin Perez (1-2) gave up four runs and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings, allowing all his runs with two outs. He had given up one run in his previous 10 1/3 innings.
“I was just trying to stay in the game long to give the bullpen guys some rest, but that didn’t happen,” Perez said. “You have to fight when you have days like today.”
Error streak snapped
The A’s made several big plays behind Hahn and played error-free for the first time in 12 games.
“The defense won the game today,” Hahn said. “All I had to do was keep the ball in play.”
Rangers: 3B Adrian Beltre (on DL due to injured calf) worked out before the game with a team athletic trainer watching. Beltre went through a variety of running exercises and showed no lingering impact. … RHP Tyler Wagner cleared waivers and was assigned to Triple-A Round Rock. The Rangers agreed to a minor league contract with Josh Wilson and assigned the infielder to Round Rock.
Rangers: RHP Andrew Cashner (0-1) is to start against Kansas City on Thursday in the opener of a four-game series in Arlington. Cashner gave up four runs over 5 1/3 innings in his last start.
Athletics: Cesar Valdez (0-0) returns to the big leagues for the first time since 2010 to pitch against Seattle on Thursday. Valdez is making a spot outing in place of opening day starter Kendall Graveman, on the DL with a strained right shoulder.