The Athletics closed out the month of April going 18-9 (.750), paying back the Rangers with a three-game sweep of their own after last week’s losing series, April 21 – 23.
What a difference a week makes as they now have a three game lead over second place Texas.
A’s starting pitchers dominated the series. In total, Athletics starters only gave up three earned runs (all by Kazmir) posting a 1.20 ERA. In the wins, Sonny Gray tossed a superb complete game three-hit shutout, striking out six on Monday, Scott Kazmir got the win on Tuesday with the bullpen pitching four scoreless innings only giving up a single hit, and Jesse Chavez pitching seven shutout innings of one-hit ball on Wednesday to close out the series.
The Oakland Athletics’ starting pitchers have posted the lowest ERA (2.67) in the American League. The strikeout and walk rates of 21.2 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively, are the lowest in the league.
Ranger starting pitching in return faltered against A’s batters lasting only 3.1, 4.2, and 3.1 innings with the A’s scoring 25 runs in the three games.
Josh Reddick, Version II, has his batting average now in the respectable range with an overall .241 BA from a once-low of .088, showing the team made the right move by keeping him in the line-up after the Sam Fuld release on April 12. Since that date, Reddick V-II is batting .340 and appears to be contributing every night with both defense and offense in key situations. When he’s not getting on base with hits, he’s taking pitches working walks.
This year’s breakout player, Derek Norris, is currently hitting .386, and went 5 for 10 in the series with 4 RBIs. He’s 15 for 32 over his last 10 games and with five consecutive multiple-hit games and has 10 hits in his last 18 at-bats. The ball must look like a beach ball to him when he’s at the plate right now.
A’s fans can hope the first place team takes this momentum, both pitching and hitting, into the next series with the Boston Red Sox.