ARLINGTON, Texas -- A sudden downpour Sunday afternoon threatened to wash out the A's game against the Texas Rangers.

All involved should have been so lucky.

A 12-9 A's defeat at Rangers Ballpark was tedious to watch and couldn't have been much fun to participate in. And that goes for players on both teams.

First pitch was delayed 16 minutes as the skies darkened and rain fell. Then fans went scrambling for cover in the top of the second inning, when a downpour halted the game for another hour and 13 minutes.

All told, it took the Rangers 5 hours and 21 minutes to beat the A's in front of 25,054 fans, not many of whom were still present when Jack Cust struck out against Joaquin Benoit to end things.

Some other assorted nuggets: The teams combined for 15 walks, four errors and 11 pitching changes.

Oakland did stage an impressive five-run rally in the seventh to close the gap to 9-8. That came long after Texas batted around in an eight-run second inning to command an 8-1 lead.

The A's finally climbed aboard their delayed charter plane Sunday evening and departed for Seattle, no doubt happy to leave the Lone Star state behind after dropping three straight to the Rangers.

After occupying third place every day since June 24, the A's are now tied with the Rangers for last in the American League West.

The A's are 1-5 so far on a nine-game swing through all three opposing AL West cities.


Advertisement

None of their three starting pitchers made it past the fifth inning against the Rangers, and Sunday's starter, Lenny DiNardo, lasted just 1-2/3 innings.

Put an asterisk next to his outing, though, considering the 73-minute delay he had to sit through after he recorded a 1-2-3 first inning.

DiNardo allowed four straight singles to lead off the bottom of the second as the Rangers kick-started their eight-run outburst. He then allowed two straight walks, the second of which forced in another run. DiNardo left after shortstop Donnie Murphy sailed a throw over first baseman Dan Johnson's head on a Michael Young grounder with the bases loaded, allowing two more runs to score.

Sammy Sosa greeted reliever Colby Lewis by crushing a three-run home run into the second deck in left field. The 442-foot blast was the first to reach the club level in Rangers Ballpark since Kevin Mench did it May 29, 2005.

As Kevin Millwood was delivering the game's first pitch to the A's Kevin Thompson, lightning flashed in the gray skies with booming thunder accompanying it.

The skies really opened with one out and a runner on first in the top of the second. With rain drenching the field and fans racing up the aisles, home plate umpire Ted Barrett inexplicably held off on calling the game.

Johnson waited outside the batter's box for a few moments and then dug in with a 1-1 count. Millwood delivered one pitch and then Barrett ordered the players off the field.

Millwood was replaced by Frank Francisco after play finally resumed.

After all hope seemed lost for the A's, they broke out for five runs in the top of the seventh to close to within 9-8. Mark Ellis' three-run double down the left-field line highlighted the rally.

But the Rangers struck back in the bottom of the seventh, scoring three runs off Alan Embree to go up 12-8.

Nick Swisher, back in the No. 3 hole after showing a resurgence at the plate, connected for his second homer of the game in the top of the ninth for the A's.

The switch-hitter took Bill White deep for a solo shot from the right side of the plate in the sixth inning. Batting from the left side against Benoit, he lit into a 3-2 pitch and drove it out to right-center.

It was the fourth time he has homered from both sides of the plate in a game and the second time this season. Only six times has it happened in A's history.

Contact Joe Stiglich at jstiglic@bayareanewsgroup.com.