Rapid Reaction: Athletics 9, Rangers 3
April, 29, 2014
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 9-3 on Tuesday, clinching the three-game series. They'll have a chance at a sweep -- something the Rangers did to them in Oakland last week -- on Wednesday. Some quick thoughts:
How it happened: Like the A's did to Yu Darvish on Monday, the disciplined A's hitters laid off Martin Perez's pitches outside the zone. On Tuesday, that was Perez's changeup, usually a swing-and-miss pitch for him that instead became a gaggle of balls as the A's avoided the pitch and waited on the fastball. Perez then threw too many of those up in the zone, and the A's didn't miss, collecting eight hits to drive in eight runs off him.
What it means: The A's are guaranteed to leave Arlington (and end April) in first place in the American League West. The question now is whether it will be a one-game lead or a three-game advantage.
Scoreless streak ends: Perez came into the game with 26 straight scoreless innings. The streak ended quickly as the A's scored twice in the first inning on a two-run double by catcher Derek Norris with two outs. Leonys Martin made a diving attempt on the hit, but couldn't get to it.
Two-out walks: All three walks for Perez were costly. Perez walked Yoenis Cespedes in the first with two outs, and he scored on Norris' double. In the fifth, two two-out walks ended Perez's night, the second a walk with the bases loaded to make it 5-1. Jason Frasor came in and he walked Craig Gentry with the bases loaded, then gave up a two-run single to give the A's an 8-1 lead.
ERA doubles: Perez came in fresh off two complete-game shutouts and sporting a 1.42 ERA. The eight earned runs in 4 2/3 innings increased his ERA to 2.95.
Turning on the jets: Adrian Beltre did something he rarely does in the fourth inning: He scored from first on a double. Alex Rios hit a double that was out of the reach of Gentry at the wall in left and Beltre never stopped. He slid in safely at home with the Rangers' first run.
Wrong routes?: Michael Choice had a tough night in the field, taking some circuitous routes to fly balls in left off a few A's bats. That included a double by Josh Donaldson in the fourth that went off Choice's glove near the wall. It wasn't a routine play, but it looked as if Choice could have had it.
Briefly: Gentry, a former Ranger, singled to lead off the second inning in his first at-bat against his former team in Arlington. He later scored the third run of the game. … Alberto Callaspo made a heads-up play in the fourth, throwing home immediately on a ground ball by Martin to get Rios caught in a rundown. Rather than take the easy out at first, Callaspo prevented a run. … Dan Robertson made his major league debut, pinch running for Shin-Soo Choo in the seventh inning.
Up next: LHP Robbie Ross (1-1, 2.45 ERA) goes up against RHP Jesse Chavez (1-0, 2.32 ERA) in the final game of this three-games series at 7:05 p.m. CT on FSSW and 570 AM. This is the last game between Oakland and Texas until June 16, when the two teams play again in California.