ARLINGTON -- The Rangers had the tying run at second base and the winning run at first, and Adrian Beltre hit a line drive against Athletics closer Andrew Bailey. He hit it right at second baseman Adam Rosales, who made the catch and squeezed the life out of the Rangers' comeback.Beltre flipped his bat and grabbed it in frustration as he walked off the field. The Rangers trailed by five runs going into the bottom of the sixth before launching a comeback that fell one hit short in an 8-7 loss to the Athletics on Saturday afternoon at the Ballpark in Arlington. The loss snapped the Rangers' nine-game winning streak against the Athletics. But they have also lost four of their last seven games overall at a time when they are trying to shake the Angels in the American League West. There are 16 games left and this one left the Angels just two games behind going into their Saturday night game against the Yankees. "We played hard," Rangers infielder Michael Young said. "I wish we could have had a different outcome. But we played hard and gave it everything we had. We scratched and clawed to push some runs across and got runners on base at the end. Adrian just hit the ball right at the guy." Saturday marked the return of Alexi Ogando to the Rangers, and he ended up taking the loss. He earned that distinction by allowing the first two batters to reach base in the A's decisive five-run sixth inning. But the crushing blow was pinch-hitter Scott Sizemore's grand slam off reliever Yoshinori Tateyama with two outs in the inning. "I thought I had the right matchup, but Sizemore got him," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. Tateyama earned the distinction of being the first Rangers pitcher to give up a grand slam to two consecutive batters. He also gave up a grand slam to Carl Crawford last Saturday in Boston. The last Major League pitcher to do it was Mariners reliever Greg McCarthy in 1998. "My location is not there ... my control is not there," Tateyama said. Ogando gave up three runs in the second inning. That put the Rangers behind against Athletics starter Trevor Cahill, but they were able to storm back. Ian Kinsler scored on a wild pitch in the third and Mitch Moreland doubled home two runs in the fourth. The score was still tied at 3 going into the sixth when Ogando opened the inning by hitting Josh Willingham with a pitch. David DeJesus singled to right, putting runners on first and second, and that was all for Ogando. "I thought he had taken us as far as he could," Washington said. "I thought the bullpen had been solid." Ogando, who had been skipped in his last start to give him extra rest, said he felt strong all afternoon. "I was throwing good," Ogando said. "It was not my decision, but I wanted to keep pitching." Instead, with two left-handed hitters coming up, Washington brought in left-hander Michael Gonzalez to pitch. Ryan Sweeney tried to sacrifice, but Gonzalez got the forceout at third. He then got Brandon Allen on a foul popup. That brought up Kurt Suzuki, the A's right-handed-hitting catcher. Right-handers are hitting .298 off Gonzalez, but Suzuki walked on five pitches. "We wanted him to pitch him carefully, and that's what he did," Washington said. Rookie third baseman Eric Sogard, another left-handed hitter was next, but Oakland manager Bob Melvin sent up Sizemore, a right-handed hitter, to pinch-hit. Washington responded with Tateyama, the side-arming right-hander who had held right-handed opponents to a .176 batting average coming into the game. He had also not allowed a home run in 91 at-bats to a right-handed hitter. Sizemore was hitting .205 against right-handers, although he did have seven home runs in 210 at-bats. But Tateyama missed high with a breaking ball and then threw a sinker that Sizemore crushed deep into the left-field seats for his first career grand slam. "I didn't want to get too far behind in the count," Tateyama said. "I was just trying to get a good pitch to hit, really," Sizemore said. "He's kind of deceptive, he's got that weird arm slot, good slider, so I was just trying to look for a pitch out over the plate. He kind of made a mistake, and I capitalized on it." That made it 7-3 and the Athletics added another run off Tateyama on a single by Jemile Weeks and a double by Cliff Pennington. Tateyama has now allowed 12 runs on 11 hits -- including four home runs -- over four innings in his last five outings. "He's been getting some balls up in the zone and got that one up to Sizemore," Washington said. Ogando is 5-8 with a 5.45 ERA in his last 15 starts, while Rangers relievers have a 6.02 ERA in their last 15 games. The extra run on Saturday hurt because the Rangers were able to pull back to within one run. Beltre hit a two-run home run off Cahill in the sixth and Young lined a two-run single in the seventh, giving him 97 RBIs, but the Rangers couldn't complete the comeback.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.