Texas Rangers: Coco Crisp
That got A's center fielder Coco Crisp all fired up. He finally had to be pulled away from the dugout railing by teammate Daric Barton.
Donaldson, whom several Rangers have said can rub the opposing team the wrong way, said Darvish yelled "fastball" at him from the mound and then threw a curve ball. Donaldson singled on the pitch. Crisp considered that taunting, which is why he was upset. Donaldson took it all in stride.
“If he wants to do that, fine, it doesn’t bother me,” Donaldson told The San Francisco Chronicle. “I kind of like the head games.”
Darvish said he could hear noise coming from the A's dugout.
"It was part of the game where there was a lot of excitement between both of us," Darvish said. "I heard a lot of people saying something from the Oakland dugout. I said to myself it's just the heat of the moment with what's at stake. I looked at it as like they were trying to make me lose my concentration. But I just understand that. So I worked to maintain my focus and pitch my game."
Some of this may stem from a May incident between Donaldson and Darvish. Several Rangers players and coaches said Donaldson was upset in a game on May 21 that Darvish wasn't challenging him with fastballs. After a double, Donaldson stood on second base and disrespected the Rangers' ace by yelling an obscenity at him.
Shortstop Elvis Andrus was asked what he could make out of the whole thing.
"I have no clue," Andrus said." The A's were kind of mad that they could not hit today against Darvish. A little frustrating. I never found out why.
"The whole league knows that he's throws like 60 percent breaking balls. You can't get mad at somebody over making outs. The job is sitting on breaking balls and hitting them. There's nothing you can do."
The A's did get the last laugh, beating Darvish for the fourth time this season, two of them by 1-0 finals. Darvish won't see Oakland again unless the teams meet in the playoffs.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers rallied for the third time in the series against Oakland, this time pulling out a 4-3 victory over the A's on Thursday afternoon at Rangers Ballpark thanks to a clutch hit by Ian Kinsler in the seventh and a perfect game-ending relay throw to home plate. The Rangers took three out of four games from the A's, pulling within a game of Oakland in the American League West standings.
Rangers break through: Poor defense put the Rangers in a 3-2 hole, but Kinsler fixed that. With the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the seventh, Kinsler worked the count full against A's reliever Sean Doolittle and lined a single back up the middle to score two runs and give the Rangers a 4-3 lead.
Kinsler ties record: Kinsler stole his 161st career base in the seventh inning, tying him with Bump Wills for the all-time club lead.
Fantastic finish: Closer Joe Nathan fanned the first two A's he faced in the bottom of the ninth, then allowed a single to Josh Donaldson and a single to Seth Smith. Donaldson was running on the Smith's single and was waved around third after Craig Gentry bobbled the ball in center field. But Gentry got the ball to Elvis Andrus, who delivered a perfect relay throw to A.J. Pierzynski at home to get Smith to end the game.
|ESPN Insider and senior baseball analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss some interesting trade ideas for the Rangers. |
Ugly start to sixth: The Rangers used four pitchers in the top of the sixth with the score tied at 1. With Lindblom still in, the inning started with Profar making a lazy throw to first base after a diving stop on what should have been the first out of the inning, but instead was an infield single for Brandon Moss. Donaldson followed with a single to right to chase Lindblom. Rangers manager Ron Washington went to left-hander Joseph Ortiz, who walked the only batter he faced to load the bases. Washington went to the bullpen again for right-hander Jason Frasor against pinch hitter Chris Young, who walked to force in the go-ahead run. Washington then went to lefty Robbie Ross, who kept the top of the sixth inning from turning into a complete nightmare for the Rangers. Coming in with the bases loaded and still no outs, Ross struck out pinch hitter Adam Rosales, got Coco Crisp to pop out to second and John Jaso to strike out, keeping the deficit at 2-1.
Soto sighting: Rangers backup catcher Geovany Soto had one hit in his last 18 at-bats before he launched a home run just over the the center-field wall in the bottom of the fifth to tie the score at 1. It was Soto's third home run and first since May 18 against Detroit.
Up next: The Rangers open a three-game series against St. Louis in their first meeting since the Cardinals rallied to win the 2011 World Series with back-to-back wins at Busch Stadium. The series opens with Rangers left-hander Derek Holland (5-4, 3.30 ERA) facing Cardinals left-hander Tyler Lyons (2-3, 4.65) on Friday night at 7:15 p.m. on Ch. 21 and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM (1540 AM in Spanish).
|Nolan Ryan joins Galloway & Company to discuss the Rangers' six-game losing streak and how to get out of their slump. |
The schedule gets much more difficult for the Rangers this week with a four-game home series against American League West-leading Oakland and on the road this weekend at St. Louis as Texas returns to the site where it lost the 2011 World Series.
Here's what to watch for:
Streaking A's: The A's have produced another one of their hot stretches, winning 22 of their last 29 games to take over first place in the AL West. The A's were 7 1/2 games behind the Rangers when they had an off day on May 15. Oakland leads the division by three games entering Monday's series opener. It's the A's largest lead in the AL West since 2006.
Dominating the West: Oakland is 21-10 against AL West opponents and 21-19 against everyone else. The A's have feasted on Houston with a 9-0 record. They are 3-3 against the Rangers. Oakland's offense has been much better against division opponents. They've averaged 5.74 runs per game against AL West teams compared to 3.75 runs per game against the rest of the big leagues.
All about the Cs: The A's are 28-9 when outfielders Yoenis Cespedes and Coco Crisp are both in the lineup. Crisp, who was on the disabled list in May, is in the top 10 in the AL in on-base average (.386), runs (42) and stolen bases (13). Cespedes, on the DL in April, is the A's best offensive player with 13 home runs and 36 RBIs in 55 games. Oakland is 117-65 when Cespedes is in the lineup.
Cards best in baseball: There's no doubt that the St. Louis Cardinals made a great baseball decision by letting Albert Pujols walk for the Los Angeles Angels' overpriced contract after winning the 2011 World Series. The Cardinals still made the playoffs in 2012 and they have baseball's best record at 44-25 entering Monday, holding a 2 1/2-game lead on the Cincinnati Reds. The Redbirds are 19-12 at home.
Wainwright waits: A possible marquee pitching matchup awaits on Sunday night -- weather permitting -- when the Rangers' Yu Darvish, who has seven victories but is winless in his last five starts, takes on Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright, who is baseball's first 10-game winner. Wainwright is 10-3 and sports a 2.18 ERA.
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Brandon Hicks hit a walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth to lift the Oakland A’s to a 4-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday afternoon at the Coliseum.
What it means: The Rangers, who blew a 3-1 lead in the seventh, missed a chance to sweep the two-game series. They’ll have an off day before they begin a big three-game series against the second-place Angels in Los Angeles. The Rangers are five games up, pending the Angels game Thursday night in Detroit.
Kirkman loses: Michael Kirkman entered in the eighth and pitched a scoreless inning, but he didn’t get an out in the ninth. He gave up a homer to Hicks, who had just entered the game as a pinch-runner in the seventh. It was the first career homer for Hicks.
Lewis’ day: Colby Lewis had a very good outing in his first game back after spending three weeks on the disabled list because of tendinitis in his right forearm. Lewis gave up just one run in five innings, on Brandon Inge’s fifth-inning solo homer. Lewis was pulled after just 75 pitches. Lewis left the bases loaded in the fourth and had to face No. 3 hitter Josh Reddick with the potential go-ahead run at third in the fifth. Lewis struck him out.
Bullpen blows it: The Rangers had not blown a save since May 17, but that streak ended in familiar fashion. Reddick’s two-out, two-run double against Alexi Ogando in the seventh inning tied the game, 3-3. Reddick homered against Ogando for the Rangers’ last blown save.
Another streak also ended on Reddick’s hit. Inge, who had doubled off Robbie Ross to start the inning, scored, ending Ross’ scoreless streak at 24 innings.
Young clutch: Michael Young ran his hitting streak to six games with a big hit in the sixth inning. Young’s one-out single drove in Elvis Andrus with the tie-breaking run, chasing Travis Blackley out of the game.
Gentry stays hot: Craig Gentry continues to be one of the Rangers' best hitters, despite being tucked at the bottom of the order. With two outs and Brandon Snyder at first, Gentry yanked a double into the left-field corner, driving in Snyder with the first run of the game. Gentry is hitting .383 over his last 31 games.
Golden at third: Adrian Beltre, a three-time Gold Glove winner, made a few very nice plays. In the sixth inning, with Yoenis Cespedes at first and nobody out, Seth Smith hit a blooper into shallow center. The ball dropped between Ian Kinsler and Andrus, but Beltre hustled to second to cover the base, and he took a throw from Andrus to force Cespedes. An out later, he made a diving stop of a Derek Norris grounder to record the final out of the inning. In the seventh, the A’s had runners at first and second with no outs, Beltre charged in and made a sliding catch of Coco Crisp’s bunt. In the eighth, though, Beltre made a bad throw that allowed Norris to reach. It was Beltre’s first error since June 2.
Up Next: The Rangers have an off day before beginning a three-game series against the Angels in Los Angeles on Friday. The series opens with LHP Derek Holland (6-4, 4.57) facing RHP Jered Weaver (11-1, 2.26) at 9:05 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and FSSW.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- RHP Yu Darvish takes the mound against LHP Travis Blackley as the Texas Rangers close out their four-game home series with the Oakland A's. First pitch is at 6:05 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW. A quick look at the matchup:
Darvish (10-4, 3.57): The 25-year-old leads all rookies in wins (10) and strikeouts (106) and has already set the Rangers record for wins by a rookie prior to the All-Star break. ... He leads the league in walks (50) and ranks among AL leaders in strikeouts per nine innings (second, 9.97), wins (third), opp. average (eighth, .228) and strikeouts (fourth, 106). ... He is second in the majors with four games with 10 or more strikeouts and is one of 10 pitchers since 1918 to have four or more games with 10-plus strikeouts in his first 15 career games. ... He has won his first seven career home starts to match the sixth-longest streak to begin a career since 1918 and he is the first to do so since Montreal's Carlos Perez won his first eight home starts in 1995. ... He is 1-1 with a 4.85 ERA in two career starts vs. Oakland, allowing 10 hits, seven earned runs, eight walks and 11 strikeouts.
Blackley (1-2, 3.05 in AL): The 29-year-old was acquired by the A's from the San Francisco Giants in early May. ... He has appeared in nine games for the A's, pitching 41 2/3 innings. ... He is 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA in the month of June (30 1/3 IP). ... He has allowed opposing batters a .230 average as a starter this season. ... On the road he has pitched 21 innings in seven appearances (three starts), posting a 0-1 record and 4.29 ERA. ... He is 1-1 in two career appearances against Texas, with his only win coming in 2004. ... In his previous start against the Rangers this season, he posted a 9.64 ERA, allowing seven hits and five earned runs in 4 2/3 innings pitched and took a loss.
Hitters: The A's are batting .233 (10-for-43) against Darvish. ... Darvish has allowed eight walks against the A's. ... Coco Crisp is 2-for-3 with a triple, a home run and four RBIs. ... Jemile Weeks is 3-for-6 with a double and two walks. ... Yoenis Cespedes is 1-for-1. ... Josh Reddick is 0-for-5 with four strikeouts. ... Rangers hitters are 8-for-22 against Blackley. ... Adrian Beltre is 2-for-3. ... Michael Young 2-for-6 with a double and a triple. ... Elvis Andrus is 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
Tue. at Chicago White Sox: RHP Roy Oswalt (2-0, 4.26) vs. LHP Chris Sale (9-2, 2.27), 7:10 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW.
Wed. at Chicago White Sox: RHP Scott Feldman (2-6, 6.13) vs. RHP Dylan Axelrod (0-1, 4.50), 6:10 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW/ESPN.
Thu. at Chicago White Sox: LHP Matt Harrison (11-3, 3.16) vs. LHP Jose Quintana (3-1, 2.19), 1:10 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW.
|Rangers play-by-play voice Eric Nadel talks all things baseball with Galloway & Company. Does Matt Harrison deserve to be an All-Star starter? |
Griffin (0-0, 3.00): The 24-year-old is scheduled to make his second start of his season and career. ... In his Major League debut last Sunday in Oakland, he had a no decision giving up two runs on a two-run home run in six innings of work. ... Tallied a combined 6-3 record and 2.66 ERA in 15 games with Double-A Midland and Triple-A Sacramento. ... When he was called up, he was third in the A's minor league system in ERA and strikeouts (84).
Hitters: No Rangers have faced Griffin. ... Current A's are 31-for-93 (.333) off Harrison. ... Kurt Suzuki is 8-for-17 (.471) with a double and four RBIs. ... Coco Crisp is 6-for-14 with a double, a home run and four RBIs. ... Brandon Inge is 3-for-10 with a double, two home runs and four RBIs.
Sat. vs. Oakland: TBA vs. LHP Tommy Milone (8-5, 3.83), 6:15 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FOX
Sun. vs. Oakland: RHP Yu Darvish (10-4, 3.57) vs. LHP Travis Blackley (1-2, 3.05 in AL*), 6:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW
*acquired by Oakland from San Francisco in early May
Feldman (1-6, 6.00): The 29-year-old will start in the place of an injured Colby Lewis after being bounced back and forth between the bullpen and rotation. ... He has struggled as a starter this season, losing six-straight starts before getting his first win against San Diego on June 19. ... His 0-6 start was the longest season-opening streak in Texas since C.J. Wilson lost his first six in 2005. ... Feldman hasn't had much run support, receiving an average 3.60 runs per 9 innings through his first eight starts (lowest average on the roster). ... He has managed to lower his season ERA from 7.01 to 6.00 after posting a 4.41 ERA with 18 strikeouts and one walk in his last three starts. ... He is tied for fourth in the AL in unearned runs (seven). ... He is 0-3 with a 11.57 ERA in four games against the AL West this season. ... He is 3-6 with a 6.58 ERA (49 ER in 67 IP) in his career against Oakland, having lost his last four starts. ... Allowed a career-high eight earned runs in 1 2/3 innings in his last start against the A's on June 4.
Ross (2-7, 6.02): The 25-year-old is riding a four-game losing streak and is tied for the most losses on the A's pitching staff. ... He has struggled on the road, going 1-4 with a 7.12 ERA in 30 1/3 innings compared to a 1-3 record and 4.82 ERA in 28 innings at home. ... He has not faced Texas since his rookie year in 2010. ... He has pitched six innings and allowed a total of seven hits, one run, no walks and three strikeouts in three games against the Rangers.
Hitters: A's hitters are batting .270 (20-for-74) all-time against Feldman. ... Kurt Suzuki is 5-for-17 with two doubles, four RBIs and four strikeouts. ... Cliff Pennington is 3-for-12 with a double, a triple, two walks and two strikeouts. ... Coco Crisp is 1-for-4 with two RBIs and a strikeout. ... Current Rangers are 3-for-18 against Ross. ... Ian Kinsler is 1-for-3 with a strikeout. ... David Murphy is 1-for-4. ... Mike Napoli is 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
Fri. vs. Oakland: LHP Matt Harrison (10-3, 3.24) vs. RHP A.J. Griffin (0-0, 3.00), 7:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/TXA21
Sat. vs. Oakland: TBA vs. LHP Tommy Milone (8-5, 3.83), 6:15 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FOX
Sun. vs. Oakland: RHP Yu Darvish (10-4, 3.57) vs. LHP Travis Blackley (1-2, 3.89), 6:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW
Harrison (10-8, 3.06 ERA): The lefty went seven innings in his last outing, a 9-2 win over Seattle. He allowed just two hits over his last four innings after throwing 31 pitches in the third. ... He is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA against the A's this season. ... In seven 2011 day starts, Harrison is 4-2 with a 1.61 ERA. He will be making his third start of the month after going 3-0 with a 2.04 ERA in July. ... Harrison is the major league leader in number of induced ground-ball double plays with 28.
Harden (3-2, 4.07 ERA): In his last appearance, Harden pitched seven innings in a 4-1 win over Toronto, his first career victory against the Blue Jays. However, he is 0-1 with a 9-0 ERA in his only start this season against the Rangers, a 6-0 loss to his former team on July 7. That game at Rangers Ballpark was marred by tragedy when Brownwood firefighter Shannon Stone fell from the stands trying to grab a ball tossed by Josh Hamilton and later died. ... Harden is is 1-0 with a 3.44 ERA in three day games.
Hitters: The Rangers have a .303 career average against Harden. Michael Young has 33 at-bats against him and is batting .273. Ian Kinsler has four hits in six at-bats against Harden. ... The A's Coco Crisp is hitting .545 with four RBIs against Harrison, and Kurt Suzuki is averaging .455. Both have 11 career at-bats against him.
Lee (9-4, 2.56 ERA): The veteran lefty has pitched at least 8.1 innings in all three of his starts since coming to Texas. He'll try to follow up his first victory with the club -- ironically the one game in which he did not record a complete game -- by getting his 100th career win. Lee is 1-1 with a 3.42 ERA with the Rangers. he has logged at least 8.0 innings in seven consecutive starts, the longest streak since Toronto's Pat Hentgen had a run of 12 straight from July 28 - Sept. 24, 1996 on his way to the AL Cy Young Award. Lee has 101 strikeouts against just seven walks on the season for a 14.43 strikeout-walk ratio, which is more than double the next-closest major-league pitcher and would easily be a major-league record for a season.
Gonzalez (9-6, 3.75 ERA): The 24-year-old has won his last two starts and three of four. He got the win in his last start against Boston despite giving up four earned runs on seven hits over six innings. In his lone matchup with the Rangers this season, he got hit pretty good, surrendering four earned runs on nine hits in four innings. Was a former first-round pick of the Chicago White Sox in 2004.
Hitters: Only two A's, Coco Crisp (.222) and Mark Ellis have faced Lee more than nine times. Kurt Suzuki has three hits, all singles, in seven career at-bats. Gabe Gross has two hits, including a double, in three at-bats. Likewise, the Rangers aren't too familiar with Gonzalez. Vladimir Guerrero has two hits in 10 at-bats with three strikeouts and Bengie Molina has two hits in nine at-bats. Ian Kinsler is batting 1.000, 2-for-2 with a double.
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