Can Anderson turn the tide vs. Texas?

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Can Anderson turn the tide vs. Texas?

May 10, 2011

A's (19-17) vs.
TEXAS (18-18)

Coverage begins at 4:30 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet California

TEXAS (AP) -- Thanks in part to his pinpoint control, Brett Anderson is one of baseball's more promising young pitchers.

However, the talented left-hander has been anything but sharp against the Texas Rangers.

Looking for a far better performance against the Rangers than he had last month, Anderson takes the mound Tuesday for the visiting Oakland Athletics as the AL West rivals continue a three-game set.

Fronting an impressive young rotation along with Trevor Cahill, the 23-year-old Anderson (2-2, 2.77 ERA) has helped Oakland (19-17) compile a major league-leading 2.62 ERA. He was at his best during Thursday's 4-3, 12-inning defeat to Cleveland, giving up two runs and seven hits over nine innings.

REWIND: Cahill, Willingham lead A's to win

"Anderson was tough," Indians manager Manny Acta told MLB.com. "We had a couple opportunities, and when you have those type of guys on the mound, you do need to execute. Unfortunately, we didn't against him. He was very tough."

Anderson struggled with his command in an 11-2 loss to Texas on April 30, matching career worsts by surrendering seven runs and three homers, and issuing four walks - equaling his number of free passes from his other six starts combined this season.

"It was perfect storm of everything bad," he said. "My stuff was bad, command was bad, just a bad day. It was almost embarrassing or even comical how bad it was."

Anderson, whose 6.44 ERA versus Texas is his worst against any club he's faced more than once, is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in three career outings in Arlington.

He'll try to follow in the footsteps of Cahill, who lowered his ERA to 1.72 and improved to 6-0 with seven innings of one-run ball in Monday's series-opening 7-2 win.

Josh Willingham, in the lineup for the A's after appealing his one-game suspension for making contact with an umpire Saturday, provided much of the offense, going 2 for 4 with a home run and five RBIs.

"I'm glad I put off my suspension," he said. "That lasted about a second after I appealed it and I wasn't suspended anymore."

Texas (18-18) is tied for the AL lead in runs (170) and ranks second in homers (41), but has scored two runs or fewer in three of its last five games, getting outscored 31-16 over that span. Following a 9-1 start to the season, the Rangers have dropped 17 of 26, including seven of nine in May.

"Everybody knows what's going on right now. Nobody's enjoying it. But there's a lot of baseball left to be played," outfielder David Murphy said. "We could be in a lot worse spot. We can hit a winning streak and the guys ahead of us could have a losing streak. But that wouldn't change that there's a lot of baseball left."
NEWS: MLB headlines

Probable Rangers starter Colby Lewis (2-4, 5.21), who threw eight strong innings to defeat Anderson last month, gave up three runs and struck out a career-best 11 over eight innings of Thursday's 3-1 defeat at Seattle, getting credit for a complete game.

Lewis, 1-2 with a 7.31 ERA in three home starts this year, went 0-2 with a 4.12 ERA in three matchups with Oakland at Rangers Ballpark in 2010.

While A's designated hitter Hideki Matsui is 6 for 13 with two homers off Lewis, the hard-throwing right-hander has shut down Daric Barton and Cliff Pennington, limiting them to four hits in 34 total at-bats.

The Rangers' Michael Young and Mike Napoli are a combined 11 for 22 with two homers off Anderson.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's loss despite five home runs

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's loss despite five home runs

BOX SCORE

Hit five home runs, and a team has to like its chances of winning.

The A’s simply couldn’t keep up with the Houston Astros’ bats, however, in an 11-8 loss Wednesday night that snapped Oakland’s four-game winning streak. Khris Davis went deep twice, and Ryon Healy, Jed Lowrie and Matt Olson all went deep as the A’s set their season high for home runs.

But Houston racked up 17 hits against Jesse Hahn (3-6) and four relievers and evened this three-game series at a game apiece. It was the second time Hahn has gotten knocked around by Houston inside of a week.

The A’s took an early lead, 5-4, in the third on the second of Davis’ two homers, part of a four-run rally for Oakland. But the Astros answered right back with five runs in the bottom half, and the A’s never recovered from that momentum swing.

Hahn’s struggles continue: Hahn was trying to rebound after the Astros hung nine earned runs on him last Thursday at the Coliseum. Things didn’t improve Wednesday at Minute Maid Park, as the right-hander lasted just two-plus innings and allowed six runs on nine hits. Is this a case of one team simply having Hahn’s number or do the A’s make a move and try someone else in the rotation? It bears watching.

Krush Davis x 2: It was apparent early this would be a slugfest, with Khris Davis homering twice within the first three innings as the A’s tried to keep pace. He led off the second with a shot to left field, then came back with a three-run blast to left in the third that put Oakland up 5-4. The homers were his team-leading 20th and 21st.

Reddick-ulous night: Josh Reddick filled up the stat sheet against his old team in every way imaginable. He went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs, and twice caught the A’s by surprise by stealing third base. For good measure, he turned in an excellent running catch in right field to rob Yonder Alonso.

Strange offensive night: What to make of this night offensively for the A’s? They hit a season-high five homers but also struck out a whopping 17 times. No matter … you can’t hang this one on the offense, because …

The pitching staff just couldn’t hold things down: Josh Smith was called upon to hold down the fort after Hahn departed in the third, but Smith was tagged for three runs on four hits. Daniel Coulombe and John Axford also got touched for runs. Rookie Michael Brady did turn in 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

Cubs outfielder vows he didn't give Trump the middle finger at White House

Cubs outfielder vows he didn't give Trump the middle finger at White House

WASHINGTON – Albert Almora Jr. didn’t use Wednesday’s Oval Office photo op as a subtle form of political protest, but it did sort of look like the Cubs outfielder gave President Donald Trump the middle finger, at least from that angle in an image that went viral on Twitter.    

“There was two fingers! Look closely, there was two fingers!” a veteran player yelled across the room as reporters gathered around Almora’s locker inside the visiting clubhouse at Nationals Park. 

“Guys were giving me a hard time about it,” Almora said, “but I pointed out the second finger. We’re all good.”

In another White House visit that didn’t look nearly as unofficial or informal as the Cubs said it would be, one snapshot became Almora with part of his left hand in his pocket. Almora stood near Kris Bryant – who held a 45 Wrigley Field scoreboard panel – and Trump at his desk with the World Series trophy.

“Obviously, it’s unfortunate,” Almora said with a laugh. “I’m getting ready to take a picture and I’m posing there. But you guys know that I would never do that to the president of the United States. 

“I respect everybody. It is what it is. We laugh about it now, but there’s definitely two fingers out there.”

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