ARLINGTON, Texas — Jed Lowrie is the veteran hitter the young A’s hitters go to for advice, while Renato Nuñez is one of those rookies, a September call-up seeing limited action.
Friday, both men had milestones in Oakland’s 5-3 loss to Texas. Nuñez hit his first career home run, and Lowrie set Oakland’s single-season doubles record, whacking his 48th to move past Jason Giambi (2001).
“Almost 50 years of some pretty good players — to be on top of any offensive category is pretty cool,” said Lowrie, who had the lineup card, the ball and bat; he also requested the base.
“Pretty impressive,” manager Bob Melvin said. “Some pretty good hitters have run through Oakland — it’s a real testament to what kind of hitter he is and how hard he’s worked this year to be durable and play as many games as he has.”
Lowrie tied Giambi on Sept. 19, after a stretch of seven doubles in 15 games, then went into a bit of a freeze.
“Seemed like a long time coming there,” Lowrie said. “Had a few games at home to do it and didn’t really find a gap. But that’s pretty great.”
With two games remaining, Lowrie would like to get to 50 doubles. “It’s a nice round number,” he said. “I just need to maintain that good line-drive approach, and if it happens, it happens.”
In the seventh, Khris Davis walked, Ryon Healy singled and Nuñez went the other way, belting a three-run shot into the seats in right.
“Amazing, the moment I imagined in my dreams all my life,” said Nuñez, who got the ball. “I’m pretty excited that happened today. I’m pretty happy about it.”
Nuñez hit 32 homers at Triple-A Nashville this year and he’ll be out of options next year, so a good showing now is significant should the team try to trade him this winter or should they want to try to find a way to wedge him onto the roster in March. “Every time I get a chance to play, I play 100 percent,” he said. “All I want is to help the team.”
Starter Raul Alcantara and infielder Franklin Barreto both urged him to hit it out before he stepped to the plate. “They were expecting me to hit a homer in that at-bat,” he said. “Pretty good timing.”
Alcantara had done so well in emergency starts his previous two times out, Melvin joked that they’d tried to figure out how to spring it on Alcantara at the last moment that he’d get the ball Friday. As it was, Alcantara has done so well in the bullpen, he stuck with the relievers before the game and did his usual warm-up for bullpen work.
Alcantara walked Shin-Soo Choo, the second hitter of the game, then Elvis Andrus doubled and Nomar Mazara hit a single off Matt Chapman’s glove at third to send both runners in.
That was Texas’ last hit off Alcantara until an infield single by Willie Calhoun in the fourth. But in the fifth inning, Drew Robinson had a leadoff single and Choo belted a one-out homer to put the Rangers up 4-0. That was it for Alcantara, and left-hander Sam Moll took over and gave up three consecutive two-out singles and another run, driven in by Calhoun.
“I thought he finished up on a good note,” Melvin said, noting that Alcantara was hitting 96 mph and he was unscored upon his previous two starts. “He’s certainly back in the mix with us again. I’m proud of him.”
In the eighth, Nuñez came up with the bases loaded and two outs, but Jake Diekman got him swinging at a slider. Oakland fell three games behind fourth-place Texas in the AL West, clinching last place.
A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell didn’t start Friday, so for the first time away from the Coliseum, he knelt in front of the dugout for the anthem, drawing some shouts of “Get up!” from the crowd. He was booed afterward.
Susan Slusser is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @susanslusser