Could there be trouble in the great state of Texas?
The Rangers fell at the hands of the Oakland A’s on Friday by a score of 9-8, and with the loss, the gap in the AL West standings widened to a shocking 4.5 games. Even worse for the Rangers? They fell despite having one of their horses on the mound.
Left-hander Derek Holland was shelled considerably by Oakland, allowing 6 runs on 8 hits in only 3 innings for Texas. Yoenis Cespedes blasted a 3-run homer in the 1st inning, and it wasn’t long before Josh Donaldson lengthened the Oakland lead with a home run in the 3rd and an RBI double in the 5th.
Holland was out-dueled by Oakland right-hander Dan Straily, who was effective in limited innings. Straily only managed to navigate through 5 frames, but he did so by allowing only 2 runs (on 2 hits and 4 walks), and he was blessed with a cushion on the scoreboard throughout his outing.
Texas did manage to put up 8 runs, mostly due to a barrage against the Oakland bullpen. Adrian Beltre led the way (as usual) with a 3-for-4 day, and both Elvis Andrus and Alex Rios added 2 RBI’s. However, it wasn’t enough to give Texas a win in the series opener between the two AL West contenders, and they’ve dug a bigger hole despite being at home.
There is a long way to go in the AL West race, but Oakland has delivered the first blow over the weekend.