Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Rapid Reaction: A's 4, Rangers 3
By Jeff Fletcher
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Brandon Hicks hit a walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth to lift the Oakland A’s to a 4-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday afternoon at the Coliseum.
What it means: The Rangers, who blew a 3-1 lead in the seventh, missed a chance to sweep the two-game series. They’ll have an off day before they begin a big three-game series against the second-place Angels in Los Angeles. The Rangers are five games up, pending the Angels game Thursday night in Detroit.
Kirkman loses: Michael Kirkman entered in the eighth and pitched a scoreless inning, but he didn’t get an out in the ninth. He gave up a homer to Hicks, who had just entered the game as a pinch-runner in the seventh. It was the first career homer for Hicks.
Lewis’ day: Colby Lewis had a very good outing in his first game back after spending three weeks on the disabled list because of tendinitis in his right forearm. Lewis gave up just one run in five innings, on Brandon Inge’s fifth-inning solo homer. Lewis was pulled after just 75 pitches. Lewis left the bases loaded in the fourth and had to face No. 3 hitter Josh Reddick with the potential go-ahead run at third in the fifth. Lewis struck him out.
Bullpen blows it: The Rangers had not blown a save since May 17, but that streak ended in familiar fashion. Reddick’s two-out, two-run double against Alexi Ogando in the seventh inning tied the game, 3-3. Reddick homered against Ogando for the Rangers’ last blown save.
Another streak also ended on Reddick’s hit. Inge, who had doubled off Robbie Ross to start the inning, scored, ending Ross’ scoreless streak at 24 innings.
Young clutch: Michael Young ran his hitting streak to six games with a big hit in the sixth inning. Young’s one-out single drove in Elvis Andrus with the tie-breaking run, chasing Travis Blackley out of the game.
Gentry stays hot: Craig Gentry continues to be one of the Rangers' best hitters, despite being tucked at the bottom of the order. With two outs and Brandon Snyder at first, Gentry yanked a double into the left-field corner, driving in Snyder with the first run of the game. Gentry is hitting .383 over his last 31 games.
Golden at third: Adrian Beltre, a three-time Gold Glove winner, made a few very nice plays. In the sixth inning, with Yoenis Cespedes at first and nobody out, Seth Smith hit a blooper into shallow center. The ball dropped between Ian Kinsler and Andrus, but Beltre hustled to second to cover the base, and he took a throw from Andrus to force Cespedes. An out later, he made a diving stop of a Derek Norris grounder to record the final out of the inning. In the seventh, the A’s had runners at first and second with no outs, Beltre charged in and made a sliding catch of Coco Crisp’s bunt. In the eighth, though, Beltre made a bad throw that allowed Norris to reach. It was Beltre’s first error since June 2.
Up Next: The Rangers have an off day before beginning a three-game series against the Angels in Los Angeles on Friday. The series opens with LHP Derek Holland (6-4, 4.57) facing RHP Jered Weaver (11-1, 2.26) at 9:05 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and FSSW.