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What's Good for Giese, is Not Good Enough for the A's

Well the A's got all they could ask for from spot starter Dan Giese, who gave the Green and Gold 5-2/3 solid innings, but it wasn't enough as Oakland lost its fourth straight, 3-2.

Elvis Andrus got things going for Texas with a long homerun to left, making it 1-0 just two batters into the ball game.  For the 20-year old shortstop it was his second career homer, and the 49th hit by a Ranger this year. 

The second inning epitomized the A's woes at the plate this season.  Rangers' hurler Scott Feldman sandwiched two outs around a Jack Cust single.  With Travis Buck at the plate, Cust broke for second, only to see Buck hit the ever-popular inning-ending single after the ball struck his teammate.

Texas tacked on two more runs in the fourth.  Marlon Byrd singled, went to third on a double by Nelson Cruz, and scored on a sacrifice fly by David Murphy.  Cruz cruised home on a knock to right by Chris Davis to increase the lead to 3-0.

Things could have been worse were it not for Jason Giambi who speared Jarrod Saltalamacchia's line drive and beat Davis to first base for an inning-ending, unassisted double play.

The A's got those runs back in the latter half of the fourth.  Giambi walked with one out, and Matt Holiday followed with a base hit, with both runners advancing ninety feet on a groundout by Jack Cust.  With his team in desperate need of a big two-out hit, the sweet-swinging Kurt Suzuki obliged with a two-run double just of the reach of Cruz in right field.

Not once did Giese retire the Rangers in order but kept his club close by working out of minor trouble in the second, third, and fifth.  He exited with two out in the sixth having given up three runs on eight hits.  He walked none, and struck out three.

Feldman did his counterpart better, though not by much.  In addition to the pair of runs, he allowed four hits, issued two walks, and recorded three strikeouts. Feldman got Matt Holliday on an inning-ending double play in the sixth before giving way to the bullpen.

Three A's relievers- Michael Wuertz (1.1 inning), Russ Springer and Andrew Bailey (one inning each) shut down the Rangers on just one hit.  Not one Texas batter reached on a walk tonight.

But as was the case from the starters' standpoint, the Rangers' pen was just as good.  Derek Holland retired all six batters he faced before Frank Francisco came on to close.

The man with the invisible ERA made things interesting by walking leadoff batter Orlando Cabrera, but Francisco came back to strike out Giambi and Holliday.  Jack Cust, who also legged out an infield single in the seventh, stroked his third hit of the night, sending Cabrera to third.  With the tying run ninety feet away, Suzuki teased A's fans with a drive to left that Murphy caught up against the wall.


With the win, Texas moves into sole possession of first place.

As for the A's, it was another case of so close, yet so far.