OAKLAND -- The Texas Rangers currently lead the American League with a .280 batting average. They have a lineup stacked with hitters that feast on the fastball. Bartolo Colon throws almost nothing but fastballs. In fact, 89 percent of the pitches he throws are fastballs. On paper, it seemed like a recipe for disaster. That's why they play the games. The A's shut down the Rangers' potent offense with pitching and defense, winning 2-0.Starting Pitching ReportColon flat-lined the Rangers' bats for eight innings. He retired the last 11 hitters he faced. He struck out five, and only walked one hitter. It was his fifth win of the season.If Colon pitched the ninth, he could have become the third oldest pitcher to throw a shutout. The Rangers have not been shut out this year. At the PlateYoenis Cespedes hit a double in the second inning and was driven in by Brandon Inge, making it 1-0.
In the fourth inning, Josh Reddick hit a double and was driven in by Cespedes, making it 2-0. In the sixth inning, Cespedes reached for an outside pitch and drove it to right field. Cruz dove for it and missed as Cespedes motored around the bases for a triple. Cespedes finished the night 3-for-3, a homer shy of the cycle.
After getting called up from Triple-A on Wednesday, Brandon Moss went 0-for-3 in his A's debut. Bullpen ReportBrian Fuentes pitched the ninth inning for the save. He faced the heart of the Rangers lineup. He is now 5 for 7 in save opportunities. In The FieldThe A's defense was stellar in the second inning. Reddick robbed Nelson Cruz of a hit with a head-first diving catch for the first out. Then with the bases loaded, Moreland hit a sharp grounder to Weeks. Weeks flipped the ball to Pennington, who was able turn the inning-ending double play before Napoli broke it up sliding into second. In the third inning, the A's turned another double play. Then Cespedes ranged all the way to the foul line on the run robbing Hamilton with a sliding catch. After making the catch, he popped up to his feet and waved his arms in celebration.
AttendanceThe A's announced that 15,044 were in attendance. Those that were in the house can say they witnessed... Dot RaceRed won the dot race for a second night in a row. Up NextThe press box contains some familiar faces. Some of the Japanese media that we got familiar with during Hideki Matsui's stay last year, are here to see Yu Darvish (7-3, 3.34 ERA). He will be opposed by Brandon McCarthy (4-3, 2.95 ERA). Darvish has faced the A's one time. He allowed one run on four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. McCarthy allowed four runs in his last start against the Rangers. He was shut down with shoulder soreness after that start.