OAKLAND – A's starter A.J. Griffin buckled down and waited for his team's bats to respond.
It didn't take long, a far cry from what happened on Oakland's recent 3-7 trip.
Griffin allowed only one run and struck out eight in seven innings, and the A's returned home with a 5-1 win over the Texas Rangers on Monday night.
"It was big. It was welcomed," A's manager Bob Melvin said after his team's fifth straight home win over the Rangers. "It just felt like we were back in sync."
The Rangers took a 1-0 lead on Mitch Moreland's home run in the second inning.
The A's struggled getting timely hits on their trip, but that changed in the second inning. Eric Sogard and John Jaso delivered two-out, run-scoring singles that put Oakland ahead 2-1.
Struggling cleanup hitter Yoenis Cespedes stretched the lead to 3-1 with a home run to straightaway center in the third. Brandon Moss made it back-to-back homers with an even longer drive to center. Moss had struck out in his previous five at-bats.
Suddenly, an A's starter found himself in the enviable position of pitching with a lead. The A's led 5-1 by the time Griffin departed.
Griffin faced either the minimum or one more batter in each of his final five innings, helped by two double plays. He improved to 3-0 in four starts against American League West opponents.
"It's the best start command-wise I've had in the pros, in the major leagues," Griffin said.
Cespedes left in the top of the fifth because of a stomach ailment, but Melvin said he expected him to be ready to play tonight.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.