Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Oakland A’s 4, Texas Rangers 3
Rangers fail to seize the division in disappointing loss.
The Texas Rangers failed to seize the division Monday night in Oakland, losing 4-3 to the A's in the third-to-last game of the regular season. The loss dropped Texas to 93-67, one game ahead of the 92-68 A's with two games remaining. Texas needs to win just one of the next two games to win the AL West.
Rangers rookie starter Martin Perez was awful, allowing four runs on six hits over four innings in the loss. Perez fell to 1-4 on the season with a 5.45 ERA.
The Rangers bullpen, however, picked it up and nearly willed the Rangers to victory. Four Texas relievers combined for four innings of shutout relief, allowing Texas to crawl back into the game.
A's starter Jarrod Parker, who beat the Rangers soundly last week, gave up just three runs over six innings, improving to 13-8 on the year. More impressively, with their divisional hopes on the line and a one-run lead, the A's bullpen completely shut the Rangers down in the final three innings. Three Oakland relievers combined to post three straight three-up-three-down innings, walking none and striking out five.
Jason Reddick opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning when he singled in Coco Crisp, then scored on a bases-loaded walk to make it 2-0 Oakland. Texas struck back in the top of the third when Elvis Andrus singled in Mike Napoli to cut the lead in half. In the fourth Texas tied the game at 2-2 when Michael Young hit a solo home run, his eighth of the season.
In the bottom of the fifth things fell apart for Perez once again. Crisp hit an RBI double to put Oakland ahead again 3-2, then scored on Brandon Moss' sacrifice fly to center to make it 4-2 A's.
Mike Napoli hit a solo home run to center to lead off the seventh, but the Oakland bullpen promptly shut the Rangers down for the remainder of the game.