After a rocky second inning, Daniel Mengden rebounded very nicely to keep this game within winning distance.
Unfortunately, few else on the team were up to the task.
You could spare yourself some time and just read the final line, which tells the whole story: 12 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts, 20 left on base.
But since you’re here anyway, you might as well read the full recap!
After Mengden worked a clean top of the first, Marcus Semien opened up the bottom half against Martin Perez with a groundout. Chad Pinder followed up with a single, then Jed Lowrie lined out. Khris Davis was hit by a pitch, moving Pinder to second, but Matt Olson lined out to end the inning. Stranded RISP count: 1.
Adrian Beltre led off the top of the second inning with a double (side note: this was his 3,053rd hit, making him the all-time hits leader among Latin American-born players.) Nomar Mazara followed up with a single, which Rougned Odor followed up with another single, which deflected off of Mengden’s surgically-repaired foot. Mengden hit the ground in what appeared to be somewhat serious pain, but opted to stay in the game. Ryan Rua followed the incident up with a not-so-chill bunt that scored one run, and then Mengden misplayed the ball, allowing two runs more to score.
I suppose “savvy” is another way to describe Rua’s choice:
Savvy sac bunt there for Rua given Mengden's foot/leg, Mengden throws ball down the line and might have clipped Rua, two runs score, Rua is at third.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) April 5, 2018
Drew Robinson then singled, scoring another run, and Mengden retired the final two batters to end the inning.
Score: Rangers 4, A’s 0
Matt Chapman continued his hot streak, leading off the bottom half of the second with a single. Jonathon Lucroy followed with a strikeout, and Stephen Piscotty continued his frustrating week by grounding into a double play.
Mengden sent the Rangers down in order in the top of the third.
After a Jake Smolinksi groundout to start the bottom half, Marcus Semien and Chad Pinder both singled. Jed Lowrie then did what he does best (doubled), scoring Semien and advancing Pinder to third. Davis hit a sac fly to center, scoring Pinder and advancing Lowrie to third. Matt Olson flied out to end the inning. Stranded RISP count: 2.
Score: Rangers 4, A’s 2.
Mengden again retired the Rangers 1-2-3 in the top of the fourth inning, giving him eight consecutive outs.
Chapman grounded out to lead off the bottom half, followed by a Lucroy single. Piscotty followed that up with a single, but Lucroy was forced out at second. Smolinksi also singled, advancing Piscotty, but Semien flied out to end the inning. Stranded RISP count: 3.
In the top of the fifth, Mengden again retired the Rangers in order, giving him 11 straight outs after the rocky start.
Lowrie singled in the bottom half, but everyone else went down easy.
After retiring Joey Gallo to start the 6th (that’s 12 straight outs), Mengden finally gave up a double to Elvis Andrus and a walk to Adrian Beltre, ending his mostly-valiant afternoon. Daniel Coulombe took the mound, and Lucroy threw out Andrus at third (his 5th runner caught stealing in three days). Mazara grounded out to end the inning.
Chapman singled again, Lucroy lined out, and Piscotty singled to start the bottom half. Chapman advanced to third on the Piscotty single, as Beltre deflected the throw from left field. Kevin Jepsen took over pitching duties for the Rangers and Matt Joyce pinch-hit for Smolinksi. Joyce hit a sac fly to center, scoring Chapman, and Semien flied out to end the inning.
Score: Rangers 4, A’s 3.
Joyce would remain in game in left field and Pinder shifted to center. The Rangers managed to get Rua to third against Coulombe, but a couple of strikeouts ended the inning.
Matt Busch took the mound over for the Rangers, immediately walking Pinder on four pitches. Lowrie singled, advancing Pinder to third, then Davis struck out. Jake Diekman replaced Busch and struck out Olson. Chapman grounded out to end the inning. Stranded RISP count: 3.
Emilio Pagan took over for Coulombe in the eight inning. He retired Gallo and Andrus, then Beltre singled. Pinder stumbled picking up Beltre’s hit in center, and apparently hyperextended his knee but is said to be OK.
He's staying in. Looked like maybe a left knee tweak. Since he's basically the entire A's bench, keeping him healthy is a priority for the A's.— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) April 5, 2018
Ryan Buchter replaced Pagan, getting a pop-out from Odor.
The A’s went down in order in the bottom half of the eighth.
This game was very much winnable until Chris Hatcher took over for Buchter. Hatcher retired the first two batters, then gave up a single to Juan Centeno then a two-run homer to Shin-Soo Choo. He retired Gallo to end the inning, but the damage was done.
Score: Rangers 6, A’s 3.
Semien popped-out to start the bottom of the ninth, then Pinder struck out. Sweet, sweet Jed Lowrie – who had already reached base thrice today — walked, then advanced to second on a balk. Davis struck out to end the game.
This tweet is in fact from 6 days ago, but seems that it might be perpetually relevant:
A's fall 8-3. Daniel Mengden takes the loss. However that one wasn't on him.— Julian McWilliams (@JulianMack105) March 31, 2018
The A’s take on the Angels in Anaheim Friday night at 7:07pm.