OAKLAND — Blame it on the third-base coach.
The Texas Rangers made three baserunning blunders and dropped out of first place in the AL West with a 7-5 loss Sunday to the Oakland Athletics, who avoided getting swept in the four-game series.
Jimmy Haynes pitched seven strong innings to win his career-high third consecutive decision. Haynes (7-3), who gave up two unearned runs and nine hits, was helped by two Texas runners getting thrown out at the plate and one at third.
"They threw a couple of guys out at home, and that got me even more pumped up," Haynes said after the A's ended a five-game Texas winning streak and won for the first time since the All-Star break.
The Rangers, who had moved back into first place on Saturday, dropped a half-game behind the Angels who won at Seattle.
Will Clark was thrown out at the plate trying to score from first on Juan Gonzalez's double in the first. Gonzalez, who leads the majors with 101 runs batted in but has not driven in a run in four games since the All-Star break, slammed his helmet to the ground in frustration.
In the fifth, Rusty Greer singled and Ivan Rodriguez doubled into the left-field corner. Greer ran through third-base coach Jerry Narron's stop signal and was thrown out at the plate, and Rodriguez was caught trying to reach third. Luis Alicea followed with a single to center, magnifying the mistakes.
"We just found out Jerry Narron is human. He tried to stop him a step too late. Jerry's usually able to get farther down the line," Texas Manager Johnny Oates said. "Rusty had already put his head down and he tried to make something out of nothing. [Rodriguez] saw the stop sign, held up and was late getting to third. Third-base coaching is not an easy job."
NEXT SERIES FOR ANGELS
WHO: Oakland A's
WHERE: at Oakland
WHEN: Monday, 7 p.m.; Tuesday, 12:15 p.m.