(Sports Network) – The month of May and a current nine-game homestand haven’t provided the defending American League champion Texas Rangers with much success. Regardless of last night’s win over the Oakland Athletics in the middle test of a three-game set, the Rangers still have some work to do.
The two AL West rivals will get together again this afternoon in the rubber match of their series, with Texas aiming to notch just its fourth win of the month. The Rangers improved to 3-7 this month thanks to a 7-2 victory over the A’s on a balmy Tuesday night in Arlington, as Adrian Beltre cracked a two-run homer and Michael Young went 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Rangers starter Colby Lewis was solid in lifting his record to 3-4 with 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball. Lewis scattered five hits and walked one batter, but did not have any strikeouts for the second time in his career. The other time was back in 2007 and the right-hander had 11 K’s in the previous start at Seattle on May 5.
“When you’re getting outs, it doesn’t really matter,” Lewis said of not having any strikeouts in the win.
Texas, one of the top AL teams in runs scored, ended a two-game slide and rebounded from Monday’s 7-2 loss to the A’s in the opener of this series. It is 2-3 on the residency and will also host the LA Angels of Anaheim for three games this weekend.
The Rangers have lost four straight and seven of the previous eight series since winning the first three of the year.
Matt Harrison hopes to get back into the win column when he toes the rubber for the Rangers this afternoon. Harrison, who began the season with three straight wins, is mired in a four-start losing streak which continued with Friday’s 4-1 loss versus the New York Yankees.
Harrison was reached for three runs — two earned — on four hits and five walks in six innings to fall to 3-4 with a 4.35 ERA. The left-hander and former Atlanta Braves draft pick fell to 1-3 in four home starts and has allowed at least two earned runs in each of his previous four outings.
Harrison recently lost to Oakland on May 1 at the Coliseum, allowing four runs and six hits in a season-low 1 2/3 innings of work. He is 3-1 in seven career games, four of which have been starts, against the Athletics.
Unlike today’s counterpart, Oakland has enjoyed a solid month of May, going 6-4 so far even with Tuesday’s setback.
The Athletics are 3-2 on a six-game road trip which concludes tonight and didn’t get much out of starter Brett Anderson last night. Anderson was saddled with the loss for allowing four runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings. Anderson fell to 0-2 in his last three starts
“Today I had pretty good stuff early on and made some good pitches to get outs when I needed,” Anderson said on the club’s site. “The fourth inning came, and I felt like I was throwing a wet cue ball — just no control of where it’s going. I had to harness it a bit, I kept us in the game, and then I made a terrible pitch to Beltre to open it up.”
Cliff Pennington homered and Ryan Sweeney collected two hits and a run scored for Oakland, which will begin a seven-game homestand after Wednesday’s game. The A’s are scheduled to entertain the White Sox, Angels and Twins by the Bay.
Kurt Suzuki went 0-for-3 and did not strike out for the 17th consecutive game, the longest streak by an A’s player since Marco Scutaro in 2004. David DeJesus also went hitless in three at-bats and still needs three more hits for 1,000 in his career. DeJesus hasn’t committed an error in the field for 272 games in a row — the longest streak among all outfielders.
The A’s are 10-4 in day games this season and 9-14 at night. They will hand the ball to Gio Gonzalez in the series finale in Arlington, and he’s 4-2 with a 2.68 ERA in seven starts. Gonzalez beat Texas on May 1 by the Bay and limited the defending American League champions to a pair of runs in 6 2/3 innings of a 7-2 victory.
Gonzalez pushed his career mark against Texas to 4-1 in nine games (7 starts) and most recently toed the rubber in Friday’s 3-2 win at Kansas City. The Royals reached him for just a pair of runs in seven frames.
The A’s have won nine of the last 15 matchups with Texas and are 4-2 in this season’s series.