There’s something about Wednesday afternoon games in September at the O.co Coliseum that causes the Texas Rangers to implode. We all recall Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012 when the A’s roared back from a 5-1 deficit to ultimately win 12-5 and steal the AL West title in game 162. This game wasn’t nearly as dramatic, but the statement was made once again by the Athletics that may very well carry them through the month of September.
The statements this afternoon came in the form of four big home runs by the Athletics, two of which came against Rangers starter Yu Darvish. Brandon Moss teed off on a two run shot in the first inning, his 26th of the season to get the ball rolling. Whether Darvish was gun-shy to begin with, or if that homer sent a shock through his system, he was off his game and the A’s took advantage in a big way. Coco Crisp added the third run on a sacrifice fly in the second inning.
The Rangers would fight back and get within one run on back to back RBI hits by Leonys Martin and Craig Gentry. It appeared as if Jarrod Parker and Darvish were going to be locked into a tight affair as the game progressed.
Darvish would continue to wobble, and the A’s would finally put him out of his misery with a massive sixth inning. Darvish walked Alberto Callaspo to start the inning, then as the fans in right field have Barton’s back (bro), Barton broke Darvish’s back with an impressive two-run home run to give the A’s a 5-2 lead and knock Darvish out of the game. Robbie Ross took over, and fared even worse as he allowed hits to each of the four batters he face, including a Coco Crisp RBI single and a Josh Donaldson three run homer that put the game out of reach at 9-2.
Jarrod Parker would settle for a solid six innings, allowing five hits and just the two runs, he walked no one and struck out four. Brett Anderson took over the pitching duties, as the A’s presumably wanted to preserve Parker with the game well in hand. Anderson worked the final three innings, and while he did allow two runs on four hits, he did register his second three inning save of the season.
The scoring would be capped by yet another home run by Coco Crisp, his 18th of the season as he extends his career high homer total. Crisp would finish 2 for 4 with 4 RBI as he continues his sizzling hot streak.
The A’s and Rangers are once again tied atop the AL West at 80-59. They both also sit atop the AL wild card as well, three games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays. The A’s host the Houston Astros for four games starting tomorrow night as former River Cats teammates Sonny Gray and Brad Peacock take the hill.