Rapid Reaction: Rangers 14, A's 8
June, 17, 2014
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com
The Texas Rangers beat the Oakland Athletics 14-8 on Monday night in the first game of a three-game series in Oakland, California. Some quick thoughts:
How it happened: The Rangers scored six runs in the fourth inning on five hits, including two extra-base hits, with two walks. That turned a 2-2 game into a six-run Texas advantage. But the A's chipped away and made things close before the Rangers secured the victory with a few more late runs.
What it means: Texas is now seven games behind the A's in the American League West and is 3-1 so far on this nine-game road trip. This team continues to play better baseball away from Arlington. Texas is back to .500 for the season at 35-35.
Early deficit: The Rangers fell behind in Monday's first inning as Colby Lewis surrendered two runs on three hits in the first. Coco Crisp set the tone with a double and scored on John Jaso's single. Yoenis Cespedes drove in the second run with a sacrifice fly.
Little things: In that first inning, Daniel Robertson decided to dive for a ball that he wasn't going to be able to catch, therefore eliminating any chance at getting a throw in to second and holding Crisp to a possible single. When Robertson tried to throw home on Jaso's single, the ball ended up 35 feet up the third-base line, allowing Jaso to get to second. A wild pitch put him at third, so Cespedes' fly ball could score him. Those little things hurt the Rangers in that inning.
Bouncing back: Texas tied the score in the next half-inning. They did it with small ball. Donnie Murphy got a good sacrifice bunt down and Robinson Chirinos hit a two-strike pitch to left-center field for a two-RBI single.
Slump-buster: Speaking of Murphy, he ended an 0-for-14 streak with a two-run home run in the fourth. It was the start of a six-run inning for the Rangers, who blew the game open to lead 8-2. The Rangers chased lefty Drew Pomeranz from the game and Adrian Beltre hit a two-run double off reliever Ryan Cook. ... Michael Choice's home run to left-center in the fifth, making it a 10-2 game, ended an 0-for-16 streak.
Two-strike success: The Rangers came through when they had two strikes against Pomeranz, going 4-for-7 with three RBIs in the first four innings. Chirinos' two-strike hit got things started, but other players followed suit, including Murphy and Rougned Odor.
Aggressive baserunning: Elvis Andrus put on a show in the sixth on how to score using your legs. He turned a single into a double, taking advantage of Crisp's average arm. He went to third on a fly ball and then scored after tagging up from third on a foul ball that was caught by Josh Donaldson near the bullpen mounds. It was Andrus at his best, making things happen on the bases.
No quality start: Colby Lewis was denied his bid for his first quality start of the season. Lewis allowed a double in the sixth to give the A's their fourth run and was lifted after 5⅓ innings. He ended up allowing five runs on 10 hits with three walks, two strikeouts and a home run.
Bullpen issues: Robbie Ross and Shawn Tolleson helped make things interesting by walking A's batters and giving up ill-timed hits. Ross threw 11 pitches and allowed three runs (one inherited), which included a walk and a homer from Cespedes. Tolleson allowed a run on two hits in two-thirds of an inning. Neal Cotts finally halted things, getting the final two outs of the seventh inning with the A's having the tying run at the plate.
Four homers: It's the first time the Rangers have hit four homers in one game since Sept. 19, 2013, against Tampa Bay. Consecutive home runs in the ninth from Murphy and Chirinos made it happen.
Up next: Right-hander Yu Darvish (7-2, 2.11) takes the mound Tuesday night against the A's, who send left-hander Tommy Milone (4-3, 3.47) to the bump at 9:05 CT on FSSW and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM. Darvish has had trouble with the A's his entire career, going 0-7 with a 5.32 ERA in his past eight starts versus Oakland (he won his first career one against the Athletics).