After an impressive 3-1 series win against the Detroit Tigers over the weekend, the Rangers’ bats went ice cold against American League West rival Oakland Athletics.
The A’s came into Arlington and made the Rangers look like a minor-league team.
Texas scored only 5 runs over the three-game series and were outscored 11-5 by the A’s.
The Rangers did salvage the last game of the series thanks in large part to a two-run David Murphy home run in the first that was followed by Adrian Beltre’s solo shot.
The Rangers got out to a 3-0 lead, and held strong the rest of the game. Spot starter Ross Wolf got his first Major-League win.
Wolf allowed 1 run on 3 hits while walking two over his five innings. The only blemish came in the 4th. Leadoff man Coco Crisp singled and later got to third after a Yoenis Cespedes double.
With runners on second and third and less than two out, the A’s did something the Rangers struggled to do all season, bring home the runner.
Brandon Moss hit a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Crisp to put the A’s on the board. Fortunately, the Rangers would relinquish no further chances for the A’s.
The bullpen did the rest of the work. Neal Cotts, Robbie Ross and Joe Nathan all shut down the A’s lineup preserving the Rangers 3-1 win.
Texas now leads the West by 5.5 games over the A’s. They head to Seattle next to play the Mariners in a 3-game set before a Memorial Day doubleheader in Arizona.
Justin Grimm will get the start for Texas on Friday. Grimm, coming off a good outing against the Tigers, looks to build on that momentum, this time on the road.
Seattle will counter with Joe Saunders. The eight-year veteran out of Virginia Tech has faced the Rangers twice this season. In Seattle, he shut down the Rangers, allowing one run over 7 innings. Six days later, Saunders gave up 7 runs in only 4.2 innings in Arlington.
Look for the Rangers’ bats to warm back up as they head out on the road. As long as the pitching holds up this weekend, the Rangers should have another successful weekend series.