A’s Kick Off 3-Game Series Monday Night Against Rangers: Game Preview

October 3, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) gets a base hit against the Texas Rangers during the first inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Rangers return to O.Co Coliseum for the first time since losing on the final day of the regular season to hand the Oakland Athletics the division title, and the A’s are again in need of a victory against a familiar foe as they’re 3-7 in their last 10 games.

Right-hander A.J. Griffin will try to get his team back on track when he takes the mound Monday night, and Bob Melvin will be hoping that his squad can keep up their solid record against division opponents. The A’s are 14-5 within the AL West, with a 5-15 record against the rest of the league.

Much of that can be attributed to a dip in production from the pitching staff, and Griffin hasn’t been spared in that trend, as he’s 1-3 in his four starts against non-divisional opponents and 2-0 in three starts within the division. He’s still posting a 3.83 ERA with a 1.21 WHIP, so there’s not much cause for concern for the 25-year-old that went 7-1 in his rookie campaign.

The A’s will need to garner some support for him at the plate, however, as they’ve faltered a bit with the absence of lead-off man Coco Crisp and the fall-off in HRL (that’s home runs launched) output by Yoenis Cespedes, who was in the midst of an 0-for-16 streak before recording a base hit in Sunday’s loss to the Mariners. Additionally, the A’s are missing right fielder Josh Reddick, who hit 32 home runs for the team in 2012, and outfielder Chris Young has been out with a quad strain since their 19-inning marathon against the Angels on April 29.

24-year-old right-hander Justin Grimm will be on the mound for Texas, and he’ll try to recover from consecutive losses after strong outings in his first three appearances.

The first game of the three-game series will get underway tonight at 7:05 PST.

 

LINEUPS

Oakland Athletics (19-20)

1. J. Jaso DH

2. S. Smith LF

3. J. Lowrie SS

4. Y. Cespedes CF

5. B. Moss RF

6. J. Donaldson 3B

7. D. Barton 1B

8. D. Norris C

9. E. Sogard 2B

 

Texas Rangers (24-13)

1. I. Kinsler 2B

2. E. Andrus SS

3. L. Berkman DH

4. A. Beltre 3B

5. N. Cruz RF

6. M. Moreland 1B

7. G. Soto C

8. D. Murphy LF

9. L. Martin CF

 

 

Topics: AL West, Game Preview, MLB, Oakland Athletics

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