Sports

Oakland A's rip Rangers

OAKLAND -- Joe Blanton broke away early from his pregame throwing to greet his mother and aunt and offer a little advice before they each threw out a ceremonial first pitch.

"I told them not to worry how hard they threw, just locate," Blanton said.

Blanton won his third straight start, Nick Swisher homered for the third straight game and Dan Johnson connected twice, leading the Oakland Athletics past the Texas Rangers 7-3 on Saturday.

It was fitting Blanton was on the mound for the A's annual Breast Cancer Awareness Day. His mother, Carolyn, and aunt, Dottie, are both survivors -- and Blanton would have caught their throws had he not been finishing his preparations.

"It was awesome," Blanton said. "I was a little pumped up in the first inning. It was awesome to see them be able to go out and throw the first pitch. It made it even more special I was able to pitch on that day and do well."

Johnson hit solo shots in the fourth and sixth innings for his third career multihomer game and second this season, then singled in two runs in Oakland's three-run seventh.

Blanton (14-9) extended his winning streak over Texas to six games and he is 6-2 in 10 career starts and 11 appearances against the Rangers.

"I thought that was a very special day," Geren said. "I told (his mother) we couldn't have planned it any better that he was pitching."

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