Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Athletics 11, Rangers 4
By Eric Gilmore, Special to ESPNDallas.com
Special to ESPNDallas.com
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Texas Rangers suffered an ugly 11-4 loss Wednesday afternoon to the Oakland Athletics, allowing four home runs and falling into a first-place tie with the A's in the American League West. With 23 games left to play, the Rangers and A's are deadlocked at 80-59. Oakland won the series, taking two of the three games.
Rough start, short outing: Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish was hurt by late-game home runs in his previous two starts. This time, A's right fielder Brandon Moss crushed a two-run shot into the right-field seats in the first inning, giving Oakland a 2-0 lead. Darvish retired the first two batters he faced but walked Jed Lowrie, setting the stage for Moss, the reigning American League Player of the Week. Then with no outs and a runner on first in the sixth, A's first baseman Daric Barton ripped a pitch over the right-center fence for a two-run homer, ending Darvish's day.
Out of control: Darvish (12-7) walked two batters in the first and two in the second when the A's increased their lead to 3-0. It took him two innings to match his season high for walks in a start. He set a new season high with walk No. 5 in the fifth, then walked another batter in the sixth. With so many walks, Darvish's pitch count soared. He had 95 pitches after Alberto Callaspo walked to lead off the sixth. Barton sent Darvish's 100th pitch over the fence for his second home run of the season and third in the past three seasons, spanning 130 games. Of Darvish's 100 pitches, only 52 were for strikes.
No relief: Left-hander Robbie Ross took over for Darvish and experienced an even worse pitching nightmare. Ross allowed hits to all four batters he faced and gave up four runs. Eric Sogard singled, Stephen Vogt doubled, Coco Crisp singled and Josh Donaldson hit a monstrous three-run homer to left, giving the A's a 9-2 lead. Rangers right-hander Cory Burns gave up a two-run homer in the eighth to Crisp.
Quick response: After falling behind 3-0 through two innings, the Rangers answered with two runs in the third. With one out, rookie Jim Adduci lined an opposite-field single off right-hander Jarrod Parker. Leonys Martin lined a double into the right-field corner, and Adduci scored all the way from first. Craig Gentry, making his second straight start, brought Martin home with a soft single to right.
Parker wins again: A's right-hander Jarrod Parker (11-6) wasn't at his best, but he won his ninth straight game and improved to 6-1 for his career against Texas. He beat the Rangers for the third straight time this year after losing his first matchup. Parker allowed two runs on five hits over six innings. He struck out four and walked none. He has an 18-game unbeaten streak, the longest in Oakland history.
Hits keep coming: Adduci, who singled in his first major league at-bat Sunday against Minnesota, singled in his first at-bat Wednesday in his second major league start. Adduci started in left field against the Twins but was the DH against Oakland, a job he never had this season in the minor leagues. Adduci, 28, spent 10 seasons and 889 games in the minor leagues before playing his first major league game.
Rookie mistake: Shortstop Jurickson Profar, a 20-year-old rookie, had a teachable moment in the top of the third inning. Leading off, he hit a ground ball to first baseman Daric Barton and started jogging to first. The ball bounced out of Barton's glove and rolled away, but he tracked it down and tossed to Parker covering, beating Profar by several yards. After singling in the fifth, Profar sprinted safely to second on Adduci's ground ball that shortstop Jed Lowrie booted for an error.
Long ball: Catcher Geovany Soto hit his seventh home run of the season, a solo shot in the ninth inning.
Up next: The Rangers have Thursday off and begin a three-game series Friday night at Anaheim against the Los Angeles Angels. Texas right-hander Matt Garza will start the opener, facing Angels lefty C.J. Wilson, a former Ranger. Rangers lefty Derek Holland will start Saturday night's game, while the Angels will counter with righty Garrett Richards. The Rangers have yet to name a starter for Sunday's finale against Angels left-hander Jason Vargas.