Oakland Athletics Recap 5/18: A’s Clobber Rangers

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May 18, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics third baseman Danny Valencia (26) scores during the first inning against the Texas Rangers at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kenny Karst-USA TODAY Sports
May 18, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics third baseman Danny Valencia (26) scores during the first inning against the Texas Rangers at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kenny Karst-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Oakland Athletics swept the Texas Rangers with an 8-1 victory today at Oakland Coliseum. How Sweep It Is!

1. 126. Final. 8. 96

The Oakland Athletics clobbered the Texas Rangers for their fourth victory in a row, taking down the erstwhile first-place club into second place. Rich Hill and the A’s bullpen limited the Rangers to one run while the A’s offense remained as alive as ever. Khris Davis followed his grand three home run performance last night with another home run this afternoon and overall went 2-for-2 with two bases on balls.

Today, the A’s were singles machines. With the exception of Davis’s homer and a double by Coco Crisp, the A’s 12 hits were all singles. Still, the A’s hottest hitters in Davis, Danny Valencia, and Marcus Semien all had multi-hit days.

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The Oakland pitching staff was nothing short of spectacular. Rich Hill allowed no runs until his last inning of work, striking out six and walking merely one. Fernando Rodriguez earned a hold while pitching two innings, and Andrew Triggs delivered a perfect ninth inning with one strikeout, allowing no runners. Hill has easily been the best starting pitcher for the A’s and merits All-Star consideration with a 2.54 ERA, a 10.9 strikeout-per-nine-innings rate, and 59 strikeouts, which as of this writing is good for third in the American League.

With the New York Yankees coming to town, the A’s have a good chance of racking up more wins as they bring in momentum from this series sweep. After all, in their last appearance in the Bronx, the A’s swept the Yankees. The A’s offense is simply unstoppable this week thanks to Davis and Valencia, and the A’s pitching is beginning to show signs of true life. Each starting pitcher has gone at least 5 2/3 innings since last Friday, and the A’s have struck out 34 in that timespan. Perhaps the A’s can move forward from their rusty beginning of the month and can use this opportunity to inch closer to the top of the AL West.

Next: A's Recap 5/17: Davis Krushes Grand Slam?

Tomorrow, the A’s begin a four-game home series against the New York Yankees. Ivan Nova (2-1, 3.70 ERA) goes up against Kendall Graveman (1-5, 5.84 ERA). First pitch is at 7:05 PM PST.

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