Rapid Reaction: Athletics 12, Rangers 1
April, 30, 2014
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Oakland Athletics completed a sweep of the Texas Rangers, beating up starter Robbie Ross in a monster third inning, eventually winning 12-1. Some quick thoughts:
How it happened: A seven-run third inning decided things. Ross fed the A's a steady diet of fastballs. The problem: They were all at about the same speed and too many were up. The A's, as the Rangers have discovered during the series, rarely miss mistakes. The Nos. 1 to 7 batters in the order all scored in the third, though only three were earned. Elvis Andrus had two errors in a long inning that required Ross to throw 43 pitches.
What it means: Oakland's sweep counters the Rangers' sweep in Oakland last week, meaning the teams are 3-3 against each other and the A's have a three-game lead in the AL West.
Deficient defense: The Rangers were anything but crisp in the field. Andrus had two errors in that seven-run third inning, one on a high throw and the other on what appeared to be a double-play ball that instead when right through his legs. The A's just kept scoring runs, eventually taking the lead by a touchdown in the inning. In the fourth, the Rangers had two more errors -- on the same play. Alex Rios and Adrian Beltre were both given errors for throws that helped two runs score.
Short starts: The Rangers didn't have any of their starting pitchers make it out of the fifth inning in this series. Ross wasn't helped by his defense but still gave up 10 runs (six earned) on 11 hits in 3 1/3 innings. For the series, Rangers starters had a 14.29 ERA and gave up 24 hits in just 11 1/3 innings. And that trio included Yu Darvish and Martin Perez.
Andrus struggles: Things haven't gone Andrus' way of late. He came into the game with one hit in his past 26 at-bats and was 0-for-2. But it was his fielding that was particularly lacking with the two errors in the third. Perhaps his struggles at the plate have impacted him in the field? Difficult to know, but it was a short night for Andrus, who was lifted in the sixth as Josh Wilson moved to shortstop and Dan Robertson came in to play second. Andrus had 14 errors all of last year. He has seven in the first month of 2014. He was 0-for-10 in the series, and the ball never got out of the infield.
One homer: It took nearly the entire series, but Oakland's Coco Crisp hit the first home run for either club in the sixth inning. There has never been a three-game series at Globe Life Park that didn't include a home run. The Rangers haven't hit a home run in six straight games and had just two extra-base hits in the series.
Bullpen work: Since Nick Martinez was needed to eat innings Monday because of Darvish's short start, the Rangers were without a long man. They decided to roll with it, since they had some rested arms, and hoped that Ross would eat innings. But he wasn't able to do that. So Alexi Ogando, Shawn Tolleson, Aaron Poreda and Joakim Soria were needed to finish the game despite the lopsided score.
Oakland's starters: While the Rangers' starters weren't able to get through the A's lineup with much success, the A's arms did a nice job against a Rangers offense that has been inconsistent. Sonny Gray threw a complete-game shutout Monday. Scott Kazmir went only five, but got the win after allowing three runs. And Jesse Chavez had seven shutout innings, allowing just one hit and striking out eight.
First big league hit: After playing in more than 700 minor league games, Robertson can say he has a hit in the big leagues. His first one came in the ninth as he sent a roller down the third-base line that eventually hit the bag for an infield hit.
Up next: The Rangers have an off day before heading to Anaheim for a three-game series against the Angels, who are just a half-game behind the Rangers for second in the AL West. The pitching matchups:
Friday (FSSW/570 AM): RHP Colby Lewis (1-1, 4.60 ERA) vs. LHP Hector Santiago (0-4, 4.44 ERA), 9:05 p.m. CT.
Saturday (FSSW/103.3 FM): LHP Matt Harrison (0-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. RHP Garrett Richards (2-0, 2.53 ERA), 8:05 p.m. CT.
Sunday (FSSW/103.3 FM): RHP Yu Darvish (1-1, 2.59 ERA) vs. LHP Tyler Skaggs (2-0, 3.34 ERA), 2:35 p.m. CT.