PHOENIX -- The A's had plenty of opportunities against Rangers starter Randy Wells on Thursday, but the right-hander was able to limit the damage while making a strong statement for the fifth-starter job in a 6-2 Texas victory.
After a throwing error from A's shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima led to two unearned Rangers runs in the top of the first, Wells went to work in the bottom half of the inning and immediately gave up a leadoff single to Chris Young. But an ensuing double-play ball from Seth Smith wiped away the baserunner, and Wells proceeded to work his way out of jams in the next two frames, as well.
"I made it interesting, but from the get-go, I felt good," Wells said. "I was going at guys. I put myself in some tough jams, but I was able to make a pitch when I needed to and they made good plays behind me. It was good to stretch it out five innings."
Wells walked two and hit Nakajima with a pitch to load the bases in the second, but Scott Sizemore flied out to left field with two outs to end the threat.
Sizemore, again, had a chance to do some damage in the fourth against Wells. But he struck out looking to strand three more, and the infielder's continued struggles at the plate could very well impact Oakland's second-base competition.
The only run Wells gave up came in the fifth, his last inning of work. With two outs, Josh Reddick lined a monster shot to right field for his second homer of the spring to put the A's on the board.
Wells struck out four on the day, but also walked four, giving up three hits along the way.
A's starter Dan Straily, meanwhile, was tagged for four runs (two earned) on three hits with one walk and three strikeouts in his fourth spring start.
Straily surrendered back-to-back RBI doubles to Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus in the third, and Texas added on in the sixth against lefty reliever Sean Doolittle, courtesy of an RBI base hit from Mitch Moreland.
Up next: Derek Lowe makes his first Cactus League appearance on Friday against the Giants at 3:05 p.m. CT in Scottsdale, Ariz. Lowe was signed last week to a Minor League contract and is trying to win a job in the Rangers' bullpen. He is scheduled to throw two innings and 35 pitches. Johan Yan is also scheduled to pitch in relief. He has pitched five scoreless innings and not allowed a hit.
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less