The Texas Rangers loomed large at the plate in their win over the Oakland Athletics Monday night, bringing in eight runs on 12 hits, including three home runs to reverse a recent six-game slide and pull within two games of the A’s in the division standings.
Jarrod Parker will face off against Yu Darvish in the second game of the series tonight. Darvish is off to a 7-2 start to the season but hasn’t recorded a decision since taking a 1-0 loss against the A’s on May 21. It was his third straight loss against Oakland.
Darvish has still been sharp with a 2.04 ERA over his last five games, but the Rangers haven’t provided him much support at the plate, scoring only seven runs in that span.
Offense wasn’t a problem last night, though. Nelson Cruz and A.J. Pierzynski combined for seven RBI’s on their own, including the eventual game-winning run on a double by Cruz in the bottom of the seventh. They’ll look to maintain that sort of run production on what’s set to be another warm night at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
They’ll have to get past Parker to do it. The right-hander has led the A’s to victory in his last four outings, bringing his ERA down to a season-low 4.45 in the process. He didn’t earn the decision in his last appearance, but he did limit the Yankees to two runs on five hits in eight innings of work in a game that ended up lasting five and a half hours, finally ending with a win for Oakland on a walk-off RBI single from Nate Freiman.
Lance Berkman will be back in the lineup to help the Rangers’ cause. He’ll play first base and bat fifth after missing the last two games because of knee trouble. Although he’s only batting .194 on the year, Berkman’s presence adds another big bat to the middle of the order, which is pretty dangerous as it is.
Yoenis Cespedes continues to work his way back slowly from a hamstring injury, and he’ll DH again tonight with Seth Smith playing left field in his absence.
In off-the-field news, the city council of San Jose voted unanimously to sue Major League Baseball to try to force Bud Selig’s hands in deciding the fate of the A’s proposed move to the south. The news comes on the heels of a much-publicized sewage overflow at O.Co Coliseum, and it could be the catalyst in facilitating the building of a new ballpark for the Athletics.
In the meantime, a baseball game will be played, with the first pitch being thrown out this evening sometime shortly after the scheduled start of 5:05 PST.
1. C. Crisp CF
2. J. Jaso C
3. J. Lowrie SS
4. Y. Cespedes DH
5. B. Moss 1B
6. J. Donaldson 3B
7. S. Smith LF
8. J. Reddick RF
9. E. Sogard 2B
1. I. Kinsler 2B
2. J. Profar SS
3. A. Pierzynski C
4. A. Beltre 3B
5. L. Berkman 1B
6. N. Cruz DH
7. D. Murphy LF
8. C. Gentry CF
9. L. Martin RF