Saturday, August 3, 2013
Rapid Reaction: A's 4, Rangers 2
By Eric Gilmore
Special to ESPNDallas.com
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Rangers' five-game winning streak came to an end Saturday afternoon as they suffered a 4-2 loss to the Oakland A's in the second game of their three-game series, which is tied at one win apiece. The Rangers fell 3½ games behind the first-place A's in the American League West. Oakland snapped its three-game losing streak.
Mulligan in order: Right-hander Matt Garza, making his third start since being traded by the Cubs to the Rangers, gave up three runs and four hits in the first inning. Coco Crisp led off with a drag bunt single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Jed Lowrie's sharp single to left. Yoenis Cespedes, who won the Home Run Derby, sent a monstrous two-run blast into the left-field seats, giving the A's a 3-0 lead.
Back on track: After giving up three quick runs, Garza got back on track. He escaped the first without further damage then threw five straight shutout innings before giving up a run in the seventh. Garza had won six straight decisions before taking the loss Saturday, falling to 7-2 overall for the season and 1-1 with the Rangers. He allowed four runs on eight hits, pitching the first complete game by a Ranger since Derek Holland on June 27; it's the Rangers' first complete-game loss of the season. Garza struck out five and walked one. He threw 114 pitches, 76 for strikes.
Kinsler goes deep: Ian Kinsler launched his 10th home run of the season, a solo shot off A's right-hander Jarrod Parker in the fifth inning. Kinsler snapped an 18-game homerless stretch. It was his first home run since July 11 at Baltimore and 153rd of his career. Kinsler sent Parker's 1-0 pitch high and deep down the left-field line, just inside the foul pole.
Glove work: Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz made a stellar defensive play in the bottom of the second, robbing A's second baseman Alberto Callaspo of extra bases. Cruz made a leaping catch on Callaspo's high drive, rammed into the wall and held on to the ball. Cruz is making a habit of big defensive plays at the Coliseum. In a 6-2 Rangers' win at Oakland on May 15, he made a diving catch of a Brandon Moss line drive, likely saving two runs in the sixth inning.
Still streaking: Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus lined a two-out single to center in the seventh inning off A's reliever Sean Doolittle, extending his hitting streak to 16 games. That is the longest current streak in the major leagues, is the longest by a Ranger this season and ties Andrus' career high. After singling, Andrus stole his 25th base of the season but was stranded at second.
Up next: Left-hander Holland (8-6, 3.18 ERA) gets the start Sunday for the Rangers and will oppose A's right-hander A.J. Griffin (10-7, 3.90) in the finale of this series. Sunday's 3:05 p.m. game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Southwest, ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and ESPN Deportes 1540 AM.