Monday, May 13, 2013
Matchup: Justin Grimm vs. A.J. Griffin
By Todd Wills
The Rangers open a three-game series against second-place Oakland on Monday night at O.com Coliseum. Right-hander Justin Grimm faces A's right-hander A.J. Griffin at 9:07 p.m. on FSSW and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM (1540 AM in Spanish).
Grimm (2-2, 3.45): Grimm makes his sixth start of the season and eighth overall in his career. ... He suffered his second straight loss Tuesday in Milwaukee, allowing five earned runs in five innings. He was victimized by poor defense, allowing five runs in the first inning as Rangers outfielders failed to snag two catchable fly balls. Grimm allowed six base-runners but no runs over the next four innings to keep the Rangers in a game they eventually lost 6-3. ... Grimm hopes to follow the path of fellow rookie Nick Tepesch, who had also lost two straight starts before beating Houston on Sunday. ... Grimm is 1-1 with a 3.94 in three road starts this season, the only ones of his career. ... Opponents are batting .350 against him the first time through the lineup. Grimm has been able to bear down with runners in scoring position, as opponents are hitting .182 against him. ... Grimm's breakthrough this season has come with an improving sinker. ... He was named the American League Rookie of the Month for April after going 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA. ... Grimm has made one career relief appearance against the A's, allowing a run on four hits in three innings.
Griffin (3-3, 3.83): The A's usually win when Griffin takes the mound. They are 16-6 during his brief career and 4-3 this season in his starts. ... Griffin is struggling of late with a 1-3 record with a 5.11 ERA for his last four starts. ... He lost to Cleveland, 4-3, in the now famous game that Adam Rosales hit a game-tying home run with two outs that was incorrectly ruled a double after a lengthy video review. Griffin allowed three earned runs in 6 2/3 innings for a quality start. ... Griffin beat the Yankees on May 3, pitching seven shutout innings. ... The 25-year-old right-hander has been great the first time through opposing lineups with a .155 opponent's batting average, but the second time through has been rough for Griffin, as opponents are batting .382 with three home runs and 10 RBIs. ... Griffin has a 4.50 ERA in two career games against the Rangers with no decisions.
Hitters: David Murphy (2-for-3, 2 RBIs) takes a seven-game hitting streak into Monday's game. The A's have had limited exposure to Grimm. Jed Lowrie is 1-for-3 with a home run.