The Rajai Davis Show, which is currently the longest-running form of entertainment in Northern California, continued with a road performance tonight in Arlington. Runnin' Rajai led the way, reaching base all five times he stepped to the plate (FC, BB, 1B, 1B, 1B). He further filled up the stat sheet with a run, four RBI, and he went one for two on his stolen base attempts. As a direct result of his efforts the A's claimed a 6-1 win over the slumping Texas Rangers who, while they finally scored a run on a David Murphy homer, couldn't muster anything else against Edgar Gonzalez (4 IP), Craig Breslow (2), Brad Ziegler (2/3), Jerry Blevins (1/3), Michael Wuertz (1) and Andrew Bailey (1).
Davis is now batting a season-high .314 and has pushed his OPS past .800. What more can be said about the job he's done since becoming a regular? Cliff Pennington pitched in with two more hits including his first Major League triple, continuing his solid play as the A's have now won seven of their last nine to reach twelve games under .500 for the first time since August 17. Adam Kennedy and Daric Barton both had a hit and two walks.
Elvis Andrus had a 16-game hitting streak snapped and Brandon McCarthy only lasted two batters into the fourth, throwing 80 pitches. With both starters exiting before the end of the fifth, the game started to drag on with numerous pitching changes but it's easier to take when the A's win. Boston also won again and Texas has now lost three games in the wild card standings in the last three days.
The only real bad thing about tonight's game was 13 strikeouts by A's hitters, including Jack Cust's fourth Golden Sombrero of the season. That matches his total from last year and it was the tenth time of his career, all with the A's. Given his role on the team it may come as no surprise that when he strikes out that many times the A's struggle to win. They'd lost all eight times he did it in the past before winning their last two (7/11 in Tampa Bay being the first), which both happened to be games in which Davis played a big part in the victories - that time he replaced Ryan Sweeney and hit a tying homer to go with a single and stolen base. I think the point here is now the Oakland offense has become well-rounded enough (relatively speaking) that they can still put some runs on the board even when Cust has a game like this.
A quick recap of other organizational news:
Pacific Coast League Championship, Game 1: Memphis leads 1-0 in the top of the 8th with two out and two on after Chris Carter struck out looking. Travis Buck is about to pinch-hit and Memphis is making a pitching change.
Texas League Championship, Game 1: NW Arkansas had their way with Midland, winning 11-5 after the RockHounds scored four in the bottom of the 9th. They committed five errors, which makes it hard to win.