The Texas Rangers made short work of the Oakland A’s on Saturday, earning an 8-4 victory in the penultimate game of the 2017 season.
The Rangers got off to a quick start against Daniel Gossett, who finished his rookie year with a stinker of an outing. He failed to get out of the 2nd inning, after allowing a two-run homer to Joey Gallo and then another two-run rally that he couldn’t quell. The bullpen did a decent job eating innings the rest of the way, but they also gave up four more runs (including another Gallo dinger) and it proved too much for the A’s lineup to overcome.
*** Click here to revisit tonight’s Game Thread! ***
Oakland couldn’t get much going through the first five innings, with a couple of double plays helping erase what little hope they did manage. They finally got to Texas starter Andrew Cashner in the 6th — with two runners on, Khris Davis doubled to score one and Matt Chapman drove in the other with a productive groundout. Unfortunately, that only brought the score to 5-2 at the time, and it was 8-2 before the A’s found any more offense.
Things got interesting for a moment in the 8th. First, Matt Joyce homered to get things started.
A's down 8-3, but a @sweetswingin20 jack means the A's have homered in 17 straight games pic.twitter.com/uZuAGzmMsp— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) October 1, 2017
Two more runners reached base, and suddenly there was a chance to put a dent in the lead and make a serious comeback attempt. However, Bruce Maxwell struck out to end the thread.
Marcus Semien added another solo shot in the 9th, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
Semien cracks a solo jack in the 9th, but the A's fall 8-4 pic.twitter.com/kpoufYOvKp— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) October 1, 2017
Yucky stat of the night: Daniel Gossett finishes with an ERA over six (specifically, 6.11), which, gross. Don’t give up on him yet, but he’ll need to figure out how to keep the ball in the park if he’s going to make it as an MLB starter (21 HR in 91⅓ innings, one of highest rates in league).
Cool stat of the night: That’s Semien’s 10th homer, which means he made it to double-digits in his abbreviated season. The A’s now have nine players in double-figures, including the since-traded Yonder Alonso. (Full list: Khrush, Joyce, Healy, Olson, Alonso, Pinder, Chapman, Lowrie, Semien) The 2017 squad is now two dingers behind 1999 for third in franchise history (235-to-233).
The A’s are now 74-87, tied with the Pirates for the 9th-worst record. In terms of the draft, the tiebreaker is “who got the better pick last year?” In this case the A’s would get that nod and pick 9th, with Pittsburgh 10th. The same would be true if the Orioles or Blue Jays (each one back in the loss column) managed to tie Oakland, so the only relevant question remaining for us in the standings is how things shake out with the Pirates.
One more day of A’s baseball left this season!