The Rangers came into town Tuesday with the worst record in the major leagues. That should’ve been good news for the Oakland Athletics, trying to protect and hopefully pad their lead for the AL wild card. Instead, the Athletics dropped the first of three to the Rangers 6-3 as the Mariners blew out the Angels in Anaheim.
Scott Kazmir had a rough night from the very start. Kazmir allowed at least two baserunners in all but one inning, his three-up-three-down third. He labored through four and a third, giving up six runs (five earned) on nine hits while striking out three. In the top of the fourth, Kazmir gave up Jake Smolinski‘s first career homer with Ryan Rua on base to give the Rangers a 2-0 advantage. Rougned Odor then scored from first on a Daniel Robertson single to right field to make it 3-0, Robertson himself was thrown out trying to stretch a double by Josh Reddick.
In the bottom of the fourth, the A’s had an opportunity to get some runs back. With one out, Adam Dunn doubled and both Brandon Moss and Jed Lowrie walked to load the bases. Josh Reddick hit a sacrifice fly to score Dunn and Norris hit a single to score Moss and the fourth ended with the boys in green and gold down just 3-2.
However, Kazmir’s luck did not improve in the fifth. Adrian Beltre doubled and would come into score when Ryan Rua reached on a Jed Lowrie throwing error. Rua advanced to second on the play and then scored himself on a Robinson Chirinos single to center field, and that was the end of Kazmir’s night. Ryan Cook got out of the inning, but not before a wild pitch sent Chirinos to second to be driven in on a Rougned Odor single, leaving the Rangers up 6-2 after five innings.
Brandon Moss added a birthday homer in the bottom of the sixth to bring the score to 6-3. However, other than Josh Donaldson‘s second double of the night (and thirtieth of the year) in the bottom of the eighth, the Athletics went down quietly in front of 19,835 fans at the Coli.
The Athletics are now 83-67 as six runs proved too much for the offense to overcome, in spite of some promising signs from the lineup. Tomorrow, the boys will try to get this one back as Jeff Samardzija takes the mound against Derek Holland.