Sunday, August 4, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Rangers 4, Athletics 0
By Eric Gilmore
Special to ESPNDallas.com
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Texas Rangers cruised to a 4-0 victory Sunday in the finale of their three-game series against the Oakland Athletics, which cut the A's lead in the American League West to 2½ games. The Rangers won the series, taking two out of three games.
Holland in command: Left-hander Derek Holland blanked the A's for eight innings, allowing just four hits -- all singles -- and striking out 10, which tied his season high. Holland continued his dominance of the A's and his success on the road. He improved to 5-1 in nine career starts against Oakland. (He suffered a loss in his first start against Oakland on Aug. 4, 2009, but has gone 5-0 since then.) Holland improved to 7-1 in road games. During his past nine road starts, he is 6-0.
He's No. 1: Rangers manager Ron Washington became the winningest manager in franchise history Sunday with his 582nd victory, snapping a tie with Bobby Valentine. His win total ranks fourth among all major league managers since 2007.
Going deep: Nelson Cruz led off the top of the second inning with a no-doubt home run to left field -- his team-high 27th of the season -- to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead. He got ahead 1-0 in the count against A's right-hander A.J. Griffin and lined his next pitch over the fence. Then, in the seventh, first baseman Mitch Moreland crushed a two-run homer off Griffin to right, his 16th of the season, to make it 4-0. The home run was Moreland's second in the past four games. Griffin has allowed 28 home runs this season, which leads the major leagues. He's allowed 10 home runs over his past four starts.
Gift-wrapped run: The Rangers grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning, thanks in large part to an error by A's left fielder Yoenis Cespedes. With two outs, Ian Kinsler sent a fly ball to deep left that Cespedes tracked down, but the ball bounced off his glove for a two-base error. Adrian Beltre brought Kinsler home with a sharp single to left.
Streak ender: Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus' 16-game hitting streak was snapped Sunday after he went 0-for-4. The streak was the longest by a Ranger this season and tied Andrus' career long. It had been the longest ongoing streak in the majors. Andrus nearly got a hit in the third when he sent a line drive to right-center field, but Josh Reddick made a nice running catch. In the sixth, A's third baseman Josh Donaldson made a backhand grab of Andrus' sharp ground ball down the line and threw him out.
Unhappy Rangers: The Rangers weren't too happy with plate umpire Bill Miller's strike zone. After taking a called third strike in the third inning, Beltre stood at home plate in disbelief for at least 30 seconds, questioning the call. Then, in the fourth, Cruz was displeased after Miller rang him up. Cruz struck out looking again in the seventh on a pitch that appeared to be low. This time, he just turned and walked slowly back to the dugout.
Up next: Left-hander Martin Perez (3-3, 3.93 ERA) gets the start Monday night for the Rangers and will oppose Angels right-hander Jerome Williams (5-7, 4.60) in the opener of a three-game series at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif. Monday's 9:05 p.m. CT game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Southwest, ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and ESPN Desportes 1540 AM.