Melvin: Milone made bad pitches when ahead in count
Oakland (63-48) has dropped three straight for the first time since losing five straight from May 6-10. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
Tommy Milone lasted just 3 2/3 innings, his second-shortest outing of the season, giving up six runs and two homers. (US PRESSWIRE)
OAKLAND -- The Texas Rangers are rampaging and the A's are regressing.
On Monday night, the Rangers were in danger of falling seven games behind the A's in the American League West, but a sweep of the Los Angeles Angels, followed by wins against Arizona and Oakland, and Texas is suddenly 2 1/2 games behind the first-place A's following their victory Friday night.
Oakland (63-48) has dropped three straight for the first time since losing five straight from May 6-10.
The A's left 10 runners on base for the second game in a row and were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. They were 0-for-12 in the same situation on Wednesday.
Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz, who will reportedly face a PED-related suspension as soon as Monday, had a two-run home run for the Rangers.
Starting pitching report
Tommy Milone simply did not have it Friday night. The left-hander was spotted a 2-0 lead and gave it back, and then some.
Milone lasted just 3 2/3 innings, his second-shortest outing of the season, and was pounded for six runs and nine hits, including a pair of home runs. He did not walk a batter and struck out two, but Milone's record fell to 9-9 as he needed 76 pitches just to get into the fourth inning. His career record against Texas fell to 0-4 in five starts.
Dan Otero was solid…until he wasn't. A fielding error by shortstop Jed Lowrie hurt Otero, who gave up two runs (one earned) in 3 1/3 innings, surrendering three hits while striking out two with 42 pitches. Jerry Blevins pitched one scoreless inning and Pat Neshek did the same.
At the plate
Brandon Moss gave the A's a short-lived 2-0 lead with an opposite-field off the wall double in left-center, scoring Jed Lowrie and Yoenis Cespedes, both of whom walked, in the first inning.
Coco Crisp ended an 0-for-17 skid with a double off the glove of right fielder Nelson Cruz in the fourth that brought home Josh Reddick, who would walk three times. The A's only had seven hits, with Moss the only A's batter with two hits. Eric Sogard's ninth-inning single extended his career-best hitting streak to 10 games.
In the field
Yeah, we know Yoenis Cespedes can go big fly. He exhibited that in winning the Home Run Derby. But anyone still questioning his arm, can look to the first inning for proof.
With two out, Ian Kinsler lined a shot off the left-field wall and a hustling Cespedes was there to bare-hand the ball immediately after it fell to the warning track. He turned a fired an absolute strike on the fly to Eric Sogard, who merely applied the tag to Kinsler to end the inning. The throw beat Kinsler by a few steps.
The A's announced a crowd of 35,067 at the O.co Coliseum, the 10th sellout of the season and a great turnout for the opening of the Rangers series, fireworks night and the return of Adam Rosales. Kinda.
Tweet o' da game
he's just too inconsistent. Him and Straily will cost the A's the Division if Beane/Melvin don't take action. -- @kratos6621, on Milone's start.
Jarrod Parker (6-6, 4.07) has not had a decision in his last six starts, matching the longest such streak for an A's pitcher since at least 1916, or when Connie Mack was rocking a suit in the A's dugout. Parker, though, is 4-1 with a 2.91 ERA in five career starts against the Rangers. Recent acquisition Matt Garza (1-0, 1.88) takes the bump for the Rangers. The right-hander is 2-3 with a 2.70 ERA in six appearances, five starts, against the A's in his career, but beat the A's at the Coliseum on July 3 as a member of the Chicago Cubs, going eight innings and allowing one run and four hits with five strikeouts and three walks.