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A’s fall to Rangers 5-0

At least they weren’t no-hit?

MLB: Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland A’s lost today at the Coliseum, falling to the Texas Rangers by a final of 5-0 in the third game of the series.

Right-hander James Kaprielian got the start this afternoon after being called up just this morning. Texas got to him in the first inning thanks to old friend Marcus Semien, who came in for the game’s first run on an RBI single from Nathaniel Lowe. The second inning was better, thanks to an unbelievable play by third baseman Jace Peterson:

Semien hurt the A’s again in the top of the third when he brought in Texas’ second run on a sac fly, and then Lowe hurt Oakland again with a solo shot in the fourth to extend the Rangers’ lead. It was 3-0.

And that was all that Texas could manage off Kaprielian. He locked in after those three runs and gave the A’s seven quality innings with only the three allowed, easily his best start this year. Is it going to be enough to earn himself another go around for the A’s? It just might be. This is the Kap that the A’s had been depending on coming into the year: just keep the team in the ballgame. He did that today while also matching his career-high with 7 strikeouts. Very solid against what is a hot offense.

On the opposite end, the bats didn’t have any answers for Rangers starter Jon Gray as they went hitless through the first few innings. They finally got their first base runner thanks to an Esteury Ruiz leadoff walk and he, of course, stole second base then advanced to third on an error. Still, the A’s could not score as the next three couldn’t bring Ruiz in. Hitless through four frames.

It would take all the way to two outs in the seventh inning for the A’s to finally break up Gray’s no-hitter attempt as Peterson broke up it up with a two-out single. Ramon Laureano followed up with hit #2, a double to right that almost brought Peterson in but a great relay throw nabbed him at home plate. Oakland challenged and lost but, quite frankly, it looked like Peterson’s foot touched home plate before the tag. Ugh. At least the no-hitter attempt was gone.

Still, the A’s were down late.

Righty Zach Neal relieved Kaprielian in the eighth and had a scoreless frame, his first in the majors this year, but then served up a 2-run home run in the ninth to all but seal the deal in this one. Oakland put on a couple runners in the ninth but couldn’t make much more noise than that as Brent Rooker ended the game grounding into a double play.

All in all, some positives and some negatives from today’s game. Kaprielian had a solid enough outing today to possibly get another start for the A’s, but the bats were just clueless against the Texas pitching. Oakland is still looking to get into the double digit win column right now.

They’ll get that chance tomorrow afternoon in the series finale. It’ll be Drew Rucinski going for the A’s and he’ll be opposed by a familiar foe in Andrew Heaney. They could split the series and earn their 10th win tomorrow. Fingers crossed!