May 20, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Pat Neshek (left) celebrates the victory with catcher Derek Norris (36) after the game against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

A's Face Another 1st Time Starter With Series Sweep At Stake: Game Preview

After a 1-0 win against Yu Darvish and the Texas Rangers Tuesday, the Oakland Athletics have a chance to win their sixth game in a row when they face right-hander Ross Wolf, who will be making his first Major League start in place of the injured Nick Tepesch.

Wolf has appeared in four games this season for Texas, and over 2.1 innings he’s given up two runs on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts. A journeyman reliever who’s spent most of his career in the Minors, Wolf will be asked to go up against an A’s team that has beaten Texas in eight of their last 11 matchups.

Jarrod Parker was the winning pitcher in three of those games, and he’ll look to stay undefeated against Oakland’s division rival when he takes the mound Wednesday. After a rough start to the 2013 campaign Parker seems to be getting back to his 2012 form.  The right-hander is coming off of a four-hit, five strikeout performance against the Kansas City Royals in which he gave up only one run and walked two over seven innings, and that could mean trouble for a Rangers team that has had limited success against him in the past.

For a team that’s known for their power hitting – the Rangers are third in the Majors with 58 home runs – the offense has been conspicuously absent this series for Ron Washington’s club, and Oakland’s starting pitching and reliable bullpen has been a major contributing factor to that end. Over their five-game win streak, the rotation has a 1.91 ERA, and as a result the A’s are now four and a half games behind Texas for the top spot in the AL West.

Game time today is at 11:05 PST.



Oakland Athletics (25-22)

1. C. Crisp CF

2. J. Jaso DH

3. Y. Cespedes LF’

4. B. Moss 1B

5. J. Donaldson 3B

6. S. Smith RF

7. D. Norris C

8. E. Sogard 2B

9. A. Rosales SS


Texas Rangers (29-17)

1. E. Andrus SS

2. D. Murphy LF

3. L. Berkman DH

4. A. Beltre 3B

5. N. Cruz RF

6. A. Pierzynski C

7. J. Baker 1B

8. L. Martin CF

9. L. Garcia 2B





Tags: AL West Game Preview MLB Oakland Athletics

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