May 15, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) scores a run against Texas Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos (61) during the seventh inning at O.co Coliseum. The Texas Rangers defeated the Oakland Athletics 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

A’s Try To Gain Ground In AL West Standings Against Rangers: Game Preview


Fresh off of a weekend sweep of the Kansas City Royals, the Oakland Athletics will try to continue their winning ways against the Texas Rangers when the two teams face off tonight at 5:05 PST. Texas took two of three against the A’s in their first three-game series of the year in Oakland last week, and they currently lead the defending AL West champions by six and a half games in the division standings.

The A’s currently sport a 10-12 away record, and they’ll look to Bartolo Colon to start the series off on a positive note. The veteran right-hander gave up three runs on four hits in his last start last week against Texas, and Oakland went on to lose the game 6-5 in extra innings. Colon hasn’t secured a win since April 23 when he dominated the Red Sox on a rainy day in Boston, although Bob Melvin has stated he’s not overly concerned with the quality of his last few starts.

Josh Lindblom will get the start for the Rangers, the first of his Major League career. The 25-year-old has allowed seven earned runs on 14 hits in 14.1 innings of relief work this season, and he’s been asked to take Alexi Ogando’s spot in the rotation after he hit the disabled list with biceps tendinitis. Lindblom faced the A’s as a member of the Dodgers last year, and he gave up a three-run walk-off homer to Yoenis Cespedes in that game.

Cespedes showed that ability again yesterday as he hit the g0-ahead run in the eighth inning that secured the sweep for the A’s, and he’ll get a chance to do some damage in the hitter-friendly Ballpark in Arlington. Oakland could certainly use a hot bat in the lineup to go along with Josh Donaldson’s recent tear, and Cespedes certainly has the capability to be that middle of the order presence when he’s seeing the ball well.

For the Rangers, Adrian Beltre has been the catalyst at the plate over the last couple weeks, and he’s had success in the past against Colon, with the five home runs he’s hit off of him being the most Beltre has against any pitcher. Mitch Moreland also hit one off of Colon in last week’s matchup, and the A’s pitcher will have to be careful not to leave any fastballs over the plate in the warm climate of Texas.

 

LINEUPS

Oakland Athletics (23-22)

1. C. Crisp CF

2. J. Lowrie SS

3. Y. Cespedes LF

4. B. Moss 1B

5. J. Donaldson 3B

6. S. Smith DH

7. C. Young RF

8. D. Norris C

9. E. Sogard 2B

 

Texas Rangers (29-15)

1. E. Andrus SS

2. D. Murphy LF

3. L. Berkman DH

4. A. Beltre 3B

5. N. Cruz RF

6. M. Moreland 1B

7. G. Soto C

8. L. Martin CF

9. J. Profar 2B

 

Tags: AL West Game Preview Oakland Athletics