The Oakland Athletics faced the high-flying Texas Rangers today in the first game of a three-game series at the Oakland Coliseum. Both teams swept their opponents at home this weekend leading up to tonight’s game. The A’s took two straight from their across the bay rivals the Giants while the Rangers dominated the visiting Miami Marlins for a three-game sweep in Arlington.
The A’s sent lefty Ken Waldichuk (2-7, 6.52 ERA) to the mound to face the Rangers righty Dane Dunning (9-4, 3.14 ERA).
Both starting pitchers started off with a solid two innings of work. Each with three strikeouts through two innings and limiting baserunners. But Tony Kemp got things started with a walk to be the first A’s baserunner of the night. Nick Allen doubled to score Kemp from first. JJ Bleday worked a walk. Then Zack Gelof doubled to drive in both Allen and Bleday. At the inning’s end the score was 3-0 in favor of our A’s.
Corey Seager singled to lead off the fourth inning. Adolis Garcia then doubled to move Seager to third. Mitch Garver hit a long drive to center that JJ Bleday was able to track down but not control, allowing two runners to score and Garver to end up on second. Waldichuk got the next two batters to ground out to end the inning with the A’s still ahead 3-2.
Seth Brown led off the bottom of the sixth with a double off the leftfield wall. But Dunning bore down and got the next three batters without allowing Brown to even advance to third. Waldichuk was finished after 6 innings of 2-run, six hit ball. He struck out 7 and walked only one. He was replaced by righty Lucas Erceg, who walked two of the three batters he faced. Kirby Snead took over for Erceg. The A’s nearly escaped the inning but a bouncer to Tyler Soderstrom caused Snead to have to cover first base and he misplayed the toss from Soderstrom allowing Jankowski to easily score from third.
Dany Jimenez entered the game to pitch the eighth inning. This is his first appearance since April. Mitch Garver singled and Robbie Grossman walked. Ezequiel Duran sacrificed the runners to second and third. Travis Jankowski hit into a fielder’s choice, scoring a pinch runner for Garver. Leody Tavarres hit a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Grossman. Jimenez’ rocky return allowed Texas to jump out to a 5-3 lead.
Lefty flamethrower Aroldis Chapman came in to pitch the eighth for the Rangers. He struck out Gelof on 6 pitches, three of which hit 100+ mph. Chapman then struck out pinch hitter Brent Rooker and Jordan Diaz to finish off the A’s in the eighth inning.
Sammy Long entered the game to pitch the ninth. He struck out Corey Seager to lead off the inning, and then got Lowe swinging for the second out. But then walked Garcia. Austin Hedges popped out to short to end the inning. Rangers closer Will Smith came on to end the game for the visitors. Shea Langeliers worked a walk to start the inning. Esteury Ruiz entered as a pinch hitter and flew out to left field for the first out of the inning. Allen K’d and Jonah Bride hit into a force out to end the game. The final score was Rangers over the A’s 5-3. The A’s hope to end the Rangers win streak tomorrow at seven games.