April 29, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Dan Straily (67) delivers a pitch against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Straily, A’s Try To Keep Rangers Out Of Win Column For 7th Straight Game: Game Preview


The Oakland Athletics will look to put some space in the AL West standings between themselves and the Texas Rangers, who have lost six games in a row and nine of their past 11, when the two teams meet Monday night in the first matchup of a three-game series.

The losing streak is the worst the Rangers have endured since April of 2010. Texas went on to capture the American League pennant that year, and they’d lose to the San Francisco Giants in the franchise’s first World Series appearance.

The Rangers’ struggles have benefited the A’s, who remain three games ahead of Texas in the AL West despite losing two of three to the Seattle Mariners over the weekend. Those losses aside, Oakland has been one of the better teams in baseball over the past month, winning 22 of their past 29 games with solid starting pitching and adequate offensive efforts.

Dan Straily will be on the mound for the A’s, and the last time the right-hander faced the Rangers he went seven strong innings and struck out five without surrendering a run, and Oakland went on to win by a score of 1-0 thanks to a third inning solo shot off of Yu Darvish by Yoenis Cespedes. Straily hasn’t lost since, nor have the A’s in any of his five starts over that span.

Rookie right-hander Nick Tepesch will get the start for the Rangers. Tepesch has struggled as of late, most recently against the Cleveland Indians where he gave up five runs on eight hits in five innings. His last win came on May 12 against the Astros, but he hasn’t received much run support lately, either. Texas has only put up six runs in his last five starts.

That’s been a trend that’s contributed heavily towards the Rangers’ recent rough patch, as they scored only four runs in their most recent series against Toronto, resulting in a four-game sweep for the Blue Jays.

Still, this is a team that was ranked No. 1 in ESPN’s MLB power rankings as recently as three weeks ago, so they’re definitely capable of getting things going at the plate, and they should be eager to do so against a division rival.

The A’s avoided suffering their first sweep of the season by breaking out for 10 runs against Seattle’s Hisashi Iwakuma yesterday, who carried a 1.79 ERA into the game and had only one loss on the season up to that point. Oakland will try to replicate that effort against the Rangers, and the two teams will get things started at 5:05 PST.

 

LINEUPS

Oakland Athletics

1. C. Crisp CF

2. J. Jaso C

3. Y. Cespedes DH

4. B. Moss 1B

5. J. Donaldson 3B

6. S. Smith LF

7. J. Lowrie SS

8. J. Reddick RF

9. E. Sogard 2B

 

Texas Rangers

1. J. Profar DH

2. E. Andrus SS

3. I. Kinsler 2B

4. A. Beltre 3B

5. A. Pierzynzki C

6. N. Cruz RF

7. D. Murphy LF

8. C. McGuinness 1B

9. L. Martin CF

 

Tags: AL West Game Preview MLB Oakland Athletics Texas Rangers