Instant Replay: A's comeback bid in ninth falls short

Instant Replay: A's comeback bid in ninth falls short
June 17, 2013, 7:45 pm
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Nelson Cruz hit two home runs, and A.J. Pierzynski also went deep in the Rangers' 8-7 win. (USA TODAY IMAGES)


From the A's perspective, this had to stink worse than their raw sewage-flooded clubhouse back home at the Coliseum.

For the Texas Rangers, it had to smell wonderful.

Texas' 8-7 defeat of the A's ended the Rangers' six-game losing streak and pulled them to within two games of Oakland in the American League West, while the A's (42-30) dropped their third game in four days.

The A's loaded the bases with one out in the ninth off Joe Nathan when Coco Crisp's sacrifice fly out scored Seth Smith. Derek Norris then popped out to third baseman Adrian Beltre to end the game.

Starting pitching report
Dan Straily's run of three victories in four starts began in Texas on May 21. The right-hander's run of solid starts also ended at Rangers Ballpark. Straily had not allowed a home run in his last six starts but surrendered two, one each to A.J. Pierzynski and Nelson Cruz. In 4 2/3 innings, Straily was charged with eight runs on six hits with one walk and a strikeout in his 82 pitches, the second-fewest he's had this season.

Bullpen report
Jesse Chavez, who authored 5 2/3 innings of shutout ball against the New York Yankees in Thursday's 18-inning marathon, gave up a two-run home run on his third pitch, a hanging 0-and-2, 85-mph curveball to Cruz that he drove over the wall in straightaway center for a two-out, two-run homer to give Texas a 7-6 lead. Chavez would be charged with two runs in 1 2/3 innings and absorb the loss to fall to 1-1. Jerry Blevins and Ryan Cook also pitched with each giving up a hit, Blevins allowing an inherited runner to score.

At the plate
The A's batted around in the fourth inning, scoring six times on five hits. Before Smith's double to lead off the ninth, Texas had retired 13 straight A's batters entering the ninth. Jed Lowrie, who was 2-for 3, and Seth Smith, 2-for-4, were the lone A's players with multiple hits as Oakland had eight hits in the game, with five in the fourth and two in the ninth.

In the field
Half a step to his left, and A's right fielder Josh Reddick runs down Pierzynski's line drive to right field and the fifth inning is over and Oakland maintains a 6-4 lead. Instead, Reddick just missed making a running snag of the ball, which one-hopped the wall, and it went for a two-out double which scored Ian Kinsler to not only get Texas within 6-5, but chase Straily. Three pitches later, the Rangers took the lead.

The Rangers announced a crowd of 30,489.

Up next
Jarrod Parker (5-6, 4.45 ERA) is 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA in four career starts against the Rangers, including a 3-1 loss in Arlington on May 22, in which the right-hander gave up all three runs in seven innings on six hits and a walk with five strikeouts. Since then, Parker is 3-0 with a 1.91 ERA in four starts, in which opponents are batting just .179 against him. The Rangers counter with right-hander Yu Darvish (7-2, 2.64), who is 0-1 in his last five starts despite a 2.08 ERA. He is 1-3 with a 3.81 ERA in four career starts against the A's, including the 1-0 loss on May 21 in which Yoenis Cespedes homered in Arlington.

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