Tonight’s matchup between the Oakland Athletics and the Texas Rangers was a battle that came down to the very last pitch in the 10th inning. Unfortunately that one pitch was the first one by Rangers closer Joe Nathan to pinch hitter Eric Sogard which was grounded to Ian Kinsler to end the Athletics attempt to mount a comeback after going down 6-4. Nathan was extremely shaky, he walked three A’s (one intentionally), and allowed an RBI double to Seth Smith in the process of converting the ugly save. Chris Resop allowed solo home runs to Adrian Beltre and Mitch Moreland (his second of the game) in the top of the 10th to put the A’s behind.
It was a bumpy road without a doubt to get to that point. The A’s had their chances to win this game, and even led in the 8th, but the bullpen was unable to hold it together to deliver the victory for the team.
Bartolo Colon had one ugly inning, he allowed a sacrifice fly to Nelson Cruz, and a 2-run home run to Mitch Moreland to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead in the 4th. Aside from that inning Bartolo was very effective, and would have been the winning pitcher had the bullpen been able to keep the Rangers off the board. He allowed just 1 hit outside of that 4th inning. His line of 6 innings, 4 hits, 3 ER, and 1 walk was nothing to be ashamed of.
Sean Doolittle did his job in the 7th inning, circumventing a Jed Lowrie error to deliver another scoreless frame. He did also allow a hit. Ryan Cook was the first offender for the Athletics bullpen, as he is prone to do, he put runners on base by not making his pitches. He allowed two singles to put runners at first and third with 1 out, and Nelson Cruz delivered his second sacrifice fly of the night to tie the game. Jerry Blevins came in to clean up Cook’s mess. Had Cook been able to pitch a scoreless 8th, Blevins likely would have been there still to work the 10th inning. The ramifications of Cook’s ineffectiveness were felt for the rest of the game as Chris Resop pitched the 10th and took the loss. Resop’s time in Oakland has to be drawing to a close as he’s allowed 12 ER in his last 11 appearances.
The A’s got themselves off the mat against Rangers starter Derek Holland in the 5th as Adam Rosales grounded into a double play with the bases loaded to score a run, and Jed Lowrie doubled in the second run. The A’s would tie the game in the 6th after a Josh Donaldson double, a productive groundout by Derek Norris to move him to 3rd, and a sacrifice fly by Luke Montz. Seth Smith singled following Montz, and was driven in by Nate Freiman to give the A’s the 4-3 lead that Cook would relinquish soon after.
Josh Donaldson was the offensive star once again, going 4 for 5 with 2 doubles and a run scored. He has raised his batting average to an impressive .315 this season. Seth Smith went 3 for 5 with 2 runs scored and an RBI, and Nate Freiman went 2 for 3 before being pinch run for by Brandon Moss.
The A’s will try to take this series tomorrow in a matinee as Dan Straily (1-1, 7.06 ERA) and Alexi Ogando (3-2, 3.09 ERA) take to the mound. Straily has to figure out some way to keep the Rangers in the ballpark. Considering this will be a warm day game, that seems like an almost impossible challenge. Needless to say, if the A’s want to win this series they will have to bring the lumber.