Monday, June 4, 2012
Rapid Reaction: A's 12, Rangers 1
By Jeff Fletcher
OAKLAND, Calif. — A nightmarish start by Scott Feldman ended most of the drama early in this one as the Texas Rangers fell 12-1 to the Oakland Athletics on Monday night at the Coliseum. The A’s, hitting .209 when the night began, scored eight runs in the second inning against Feldman.
To make matters even worse for Texas, A’s right-hander Jarrod Parker took a no-hitter into the eighth before Michael Young broke it up with a single. The Rangers have lost five of their past six games, allowing at least 10 runs in three of them.
A long, short night: Feldman cruised through the first inning, with two strikeouts, but then he only managed two more outs before his disastrous outing ended. After Feldman gave up a walk and a single to the first two hitters of the third, the Rangers were actually preparing for a bunt from the offensively-challenged A’s. But Feldman hung a curve ball to Brandon Inge, who hit a three-run homer. The hits kept coming and the A’s had seven runs on the board when they knocked out Feldman, who was charged with an eighth after he left.
Now what?: Feldman has not made it through the fifth inning in any of his six starts. His latest performance certainly begs the question of whether he should stay in the rotation. Roy Oswalt, the natural successor, isn’t expected to be ready for a couple more weeks.
Again?: It was the third time in seven days the Rangers gave up at least six runs in an inning, and all of them have been against the A’s and Mariners, the worst two hitting teams in the American League.
Nice cleanup: Robbie Ross followed Feldman to the mound and did solid work. He gave up two hits in 2 1/3 scoreless innings. He retired six of the eight batters he faced and got a double play to erase one of the hits. Ross has allowed one earned run in his past 16 1/3 innings.
Utility pitcher: Outfielder Craig Gentry pitched the bottom of the eighth, becoming the first Rangers position player to pitch since Scott Sheldon on Sept. 6, 2000. Gentry, whose fastball hit 88 mph, gave up two runs on three hits and a walk.
Defensive miscues: The Rangers had a couple misplays that weren’t ruled errors. In the eight-run second, Adrian Beltre made a high throw to second as the Rangers failed to record an out when they had Jemile Weeks in a rundown. In the fifth, left fielder David Murphy couldn’t catch a ball that he ticked off his on the warning track. It was a tough play, and it was ruled a triple for Seth Smith.
More ugly: Nelson Cruz also had a defensive lapse that was more embarrassing than harmful. He broke in on Kila Ka’aihue’s fifth-inning fly ball, then slammed on the brakes and raced back. The ball cleared the fence.
Still scuffling: Mitch Moreland hit into a double play and struck out in his first two trips, seeing his slump continue. He walked in the ninth, but he’s now 1 for his last 21. … Beltre, who had been one of the hottest Rangers prior to his recent hiccup, is now 0-for-11 with seven strikeouts in his past three games.
Oh, by the way: Mike Napoli helped the Rangers avoid a shutout by homering against reliever Jim Miller in the ninth. The opposite-field blast was Napoli’s 10th homer of the year.
Up Next: Derek Holland vs. Travis Blackley at 9:07 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and FSSW.