JP Sears sparkles, Athletics take series from Rangers

Left-hander JP Sears took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and Seth Brown homered and doubled as the visiting Oakland Athletics defeated the Texas Rangers 1-0 in the rubber game of their three-game series Thursday in Arlington, Texas.

Sears (1-1) was making just the 46th start of his major league career. He walked three, struck out five and gave up just one hit en route to his 12th career win. Sears threw 88 pitches, 56 for strikes.

Oakland took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on Brown’s first home run of the season, a towering 378-foot drive down the right field line. It was the only blemish in five innings for Texas starter Jon Gray (0-1), who allowed three hits and a walk while striking out nine.

The 28-year-old Sears allowed just one runner to get into scoring position for six innings. That came in the first inning when Marcus Semien led off with a walk, stole second and advanced to third on a flyout to the left field warning track by Wyatt Langford. Sears then got Adolis Garcia to strike out to end the threat.

Sears started the seventh inning by getting Langford to ground out to third. Garcia then lined an 0-2 sweeper to left for the Rangers’ only hit of the game.

It marked the second time in five games that Garcia broke up a no-hitter. He also did it on Sunday night when he grounded a clean single to center off Ronel Blanco with two outs in the sixth inning in a 3-1 loss to Houston.

Austin Adams relieved Sears and hit Jonah Heim in the foot but got out of the jam when pinch hitter Jared Walsh’s low looping popup handcuffed second baseman Zack Gelof on the edge of the infield. Gelof recovered to turn a rare 4-1-5-6 double play.

Mason Miller, who touched 103.7 mph on the radar gun, pitched a 1-2-3 ninth with two strikeouts to garner his second save.

It was the fourth win in five games for Oakland, which also claimed its second straight series victory.