It was evident from the get-go that Bartolo Colon wasn’t quite at his best tonight as the Texas Rangers threatened in the top of the first inning. Craig Gentry, who has become a bit of an A’s killer started the game off with a single, he was moved to third on another single by Ian Kinsler. With runners at the corners and one out, Colon would escape damage by striking out Adrian Beltre, and the final out came when A.J. Pierzynski drilled a ball to center field that was run down by Chris Young for the final out. The Rangers would threaten once again in the third inning with runners at second and third with one out, Ian Kinsler would strike out, and Adrian Beltre would ground out to end the threat.
Eventually though, it was inevitable that the Rangers would break through and they would do just that on a Mitch Moreland home run in the top of the fourth inning. It would get ugly for Colon in the fifth as an error by Colon opened the door for a Jurickson Profar RBI double, an RBI groundout by Beltre, and an RBI single from Pierzynski would put the Rangers ahead 4-1 and would knock Colon out of the game after just five innings for the second straight start since being activated.
Colon would surrender four runs, though only one earned on eight hits with three strikeouts. He only threw 83 pitches so clearly Bob Melvin had seen enough of Colon at that point. Jerry Blevins worked 2/3 of an inning while allowing a hit in relief of Colon. Jesse Chavez worked 1.1 innings and allowed a solo home run to Alex Rios to essentially ice the game for the Rangers. Pedro Figueroa would face two batters and retire neither, and Evan Scribner would clean up his mess and work 2 scoreless innings allowing a hit and two walks.
The A’s had jumped out in front on a sacrifice fly by Jed Lowrie in the bottom of the first inning, but were unable to muster any more offense against Rangers starter Martin Perez as he worked through seven innings in nailing down his ninth win of the season. This was a story of continuous missed opportunities as the A’s stranded 7 runners on base and tallied 11 hits with just the one run to show for it.
This sets up a pretty good rubber match tomorrow afternoon as Rangers ace Yu Darvish (12-6, 2.73 ERA) takes on Athletics ace Jarrod Parker (10-6, 3.59 ERA). The Rangers move back into first place by one game with the win today. The A’s also lose a bit of their cushion in the wild card race as the Rays and Yankees each won today.