Rapid Reaction: Rangers 6, A's 1
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Roy Oswalt pitched his best game in a Texas Rangers uniform, allowing one run in 6 1/3 innings in a 5-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night at the Coliseum.
What it means: The Rangers kept pace with the Angels and the Yankees, who both won. The Rangers remain 5 ½ games ahead of the Angels in the AL West, meaning no matter what happens they will be in first place when they finish their series this weekend in Anaheim. The Rangers remain one game behind the Yankees in the race for the best record in the American League.
Oswalt’s game: Oswalt had little trouble with an A’s team that had hit nine homers and scored 24 runs in its previous three games. Through six innings, Oswalt had allowed just two hits, both to Yoenis Cespedes. In the seventh, he gave up a solo homer to Josh Reddick. He then struck out Cespedes before manager Ron Washington turned the game over to the bullpen.
Oswalt left after 103 pitches, including 72 strikes. He did not walk a batter for the first time in his five starts with the Rangers. He struck out six.
Gentry’s wheels: Craig Gentry made some big contributions with his speed in the first few innings. He saved a run in the bottom of the second when he raced in and made a diving catch of a Kurt Suzuki blooper. He followed that in the top of the third by bunting for a hit when he beat pitcher Bartolo Colon to the bag. Colon then made an errant pickoff throw. As the ball shot into the vast foul territory in Oakland, Gentry went all the way to third. He scored on Elvis Andrus’ single. In the fourth, he was called on to execute a suicide squeeze and he beat the play at first for a hit.
Beltre swings a hot bat: Adrian Beltre homered in the fourth inning, a solo shot that put the Rangers up 2-0. Beltre is hitting .394 over his last 27 games.
Hamilton snaps out briefly: Josh Hamilton struck out in his first three at-bats, running his slump to 2-for-26. In his fourth trip, against left-hander Jordan Norberto, Hamilton launched a homer to left field. It was Hamilton’s 28th homer of the season, tying Adam Dunn for the league lead. He added a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
Ogando returns: Alexi Ogando, fresh off the disabled list, got into the game in the seventh inning with a three-run lead and a runner at first. Ogando, who had been out with a groin injury, walked the first batter he faced but then he got Suzuki and Brandon Inge on pop-ups to escape the jam.
Finally hitting Colon: The Rangers scored four runs against Colon, which was a welcome change. They managed just five hits and no runs in eight innings against Colon when they faced him in Oakland last month. Colon came into the game 18-6 with a 3.61 ERA against Texas, although most of those numbers were racked up when Colon was younger before he missed a couple years with shoulder problems.
Oops: Michael Young failed to score from third on a ground ball to second in the fourth, apparently a bad decision or a bad read on the ball. It didn't hurt the Rangers because Mike Napoli followed with an RBI single.
Up Next: Colby Lewis vs. Travis Blackley at 2:37 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and FSSW. It’s the final game of the quick two-game series.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus joins Galloway & Company to discuss having Scott Boras as his agent, his new contract and having Jurickson Profar in the lineup.
Play Podcast Rangers manager Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit to discuss Yu Darvish's pitch count and how he spends time in the clubhouse during weather delays.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway & Company for his weekly visit to discuss the latest Rangers news.
Play Podcast Reid Ryan joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his new position with the Houston Astros and whether he could see his dad, Nolan, joining him there in the future.
Play Podcast ESPN MLB Insider Jayson Stark joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss if the Rangers are the best team in baseball, what makes them so good and if he thinks the team will trade Jurickson Profar.
Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Ron Washington's decision to send Yu Darvish to the mound for the eighth inning Thursday night and how he would handle a situation like that if he were still a GM.
Play Podcast Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley and Glenn "Stretch" Smith discuss the latest Rangers news, including the Yu Darvish-Justin Verlander matchup.
Play Podcast Nelson Cruz joins Galloway & Company to discuss the Rangers' series in Oakland, his ups and downs at the plate and if the PED talks before the season were a distraction.