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Game Thread #13: Oakland A’s vs. Texas Rangers

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We DID start the Fiers

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Oakland Athletics v Seattle Mariners Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The Oakland A’s are still on a winning streak!

The A’s have now won five games in a row, taking their AL West division-leading record up to 8-4. They’ve got one more chance against the Texas Rangers on Thursday, and they’re looking for their first series sweep of the year.

It won’t be easy, though. The Rangers are starting Mike Minor, who enjoyed a brilliant season in 2019 that earned him an All-Star berth and eighth place in the AL Cy Young voting.

The lefty actually struggled against Oakland last summer, facing them three times and losing each in non-quality efforts for a combined 17 earned runs in 16 innings. Along the way he allowed six homers, including two to Mark Canha and one each to Stephen Piscotty, Matt Chapman, and Chad Pinder (plus Josh Phegley, now with the Cubs).

The A’s answer back with Mike Fiers, who tossed a quality start his last time out against the Mariners. He saw Texas four times last year but left early once due to injury; the other three games included one gem (8 scoreless), one quality start in a team win, and one disaster from April before he’d settled in and gotten good (and the A’s won anyway).

Also in the lineup today will be Matt Olson’s new mustache, with which he so far has a 3.714 OPS after homering twice last night. However, don’t expect to see Seth Brown, who was optioned back to the “minors” today along with pitcher James Kaprielian, as active rosters shrank down to 28 players.

First pitch is 12:40 p.m., with the following options to watch or listen (NOTE THE TV CHANNEL):

  • TV: NBC Sports California PLUS (will switch to regular NBCSCA mid-game)
  • Radio: 960 AM
  • Online video stream: fuboTV
  • Online audio stream: iHeartRadio

A’s lineup (home)

  1. SS Marcus Semien (R)
  2. CF Ramon Laureano (R)
  3. 3B Matt Chapman (R)
  4. LF Mark Canha (R)
  5. 1B Matt Olson (L)
  6. 2B Chad Pinder (R)
  7. DH Khris Davis (R)
  8. RF Stephen Piscotty (R)
  9. C Sean Murphy (R)
  • Mike Fiers, RHP

Olson moves down a couple spots against the lefty (0-for-9 lifetime against Minor). Pinder and Davis get their platoon starts.

Rangers lineup (away)

  1. DH Shin-Soo Choo (L)
  2. SS Elvis Andrus (R)
  3. LF Willie Calhoun (L)
  4. RF Joey Gallo (L)
  5. 1B Todd Frazier (R)
  6. CF Nick Solak (R)
  7. 3B Isiah Kiner-Falefa (R)
  8. 2B Anderson Tejeda (S)
  9. C Jeff Mathis (R)
  • Mike Minor, LHP

After two lefty starters in Luzardo and Manaea, we finally see the Rangers’ lineup against righties. Calhoun gets the call, and a couple new names show up in the bottom spots. Look for Mathis to do something annoyingly productive despite using an actual wet noodle as a bat.

Let’s Go Oakland!