Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Rangers 6, Athletics 2
By Eric Gilmore
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Rangers capped their nine-game, 10-day road trip Wednesday afternoon with their second straight win over the Oakland A's, a 6-2 victory that gave them a victory in this three-game series at O.co Coliseum. The Rangers went 6-3 on their road trip after opening with two losses.
Solid outing: Rangers right-hander Alexi Ogando made his first start at the Coliseum a memorable one. He didn't give up a hit or a run over the first five innings, mixing a lively fastball with effective offspeed pitches. He struck out three and walked just one during that stretch. He allowed just two runs on four hits over six innings, walking one and striking out three. Ogando won for just the second time in his past seven starts, improving to 4-2. Ogando gave up his first hit in the sixth when Eric Sogard led off with a double. Sogard eventually scored on catcher Derek Norris' sacrifice fly.
Nelson Cruz joins Galloway & Company to discuss the Rangers' series in Oakland, his ups and downs at the plate and if the PED talks before the season were a distraction.
Cruz control: Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz had a big day at the plate and in the field. He crushed a three-run homer off A's reliever Jesse Chavez in the fifth inning, giving him a team-high 10 for the season. Then in the bottom of the sixth, Cruz made a highlight reel catch. With runners on first and second, A's right fielder Brandon Moss lined a shot to right center off Ogando, but Cruz ranged far to his right and made a diving catch, likely saving two runs.
Offensive eruption: Before his start Wednesday, Ogando had a run support average of 2.89, the lowest in the American League. The Rangers' hitters made amends, scoring twice in the third inning and four times in the fifth. A's right-hander Dan Straily lasted only 4.1 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) and five hits while walking four, hitting two batters and throwing a wild pitch. With two outs in the third, Leonys Martin singled and stole second. Then, Straily hit Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus to load the bases. Lance Berkman lined a broken-bat single to center, giving Texas a 2-0 lead. In the fifth, Andrus reached on an error, stole second and then after a walk by Berkman, stole third. Andrus scored on Adrian Beltre's sharp single to center. That was it for Straily. Cruz hammered Chavez' first pitch over the left-center wall for a three-run homer, making it 6-0.
Back on track: Left-handed reliever Michael Kirkman had his second straight solid outing after a rough patch. He held the A's to no runs on one hit over 2.1 innings. On Sunday, he worked a one-two-three seventh against Houston.
Up next: The Rangers open a four-game series Thursday night at Rangers Ballpark against Detroit with right-hander Yu Darvish facing Tigers righty Justin Verlander. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. on FSSW/MLBN and ESPN 103.3 FM and 1540 AM.