The Rangers stranded nine runners on base against the cellar-dwelling Athletics on July 23, dropping the game by a 3-1 tally, and will look to keep from being swept in Oakland on Sunday.
“Three is a streak,” A’s starting pitcher James Kaprielian told MLB.com after his outing. “We’ve got an opportunity to sweep [Sunday], and we need to take advantage of that. We’re on a good start to the second half. There’s still things to improve on, but I like what I see out of the team.”
Kaprielian lasted five innings allowing just two hits, no runs, walked two, and fanned four in the start. He did not receive a decision following his effort.
Matt Bush was on the hill for Texas and pitched one no-hit inning in which he struck out a batter.
Taylor Hearn made his second appearance since being recalled from AAA Triple Rock and relieved Bush in the bottom of the second. Hearn — who started for Texas in the season opener and became on second Texas to make an Opening Day start, joining only Nolan Ryan in the feat — was electric in the first three innings as he allowed three hits and struck out three.
With teammate Dennis Santana warming in the bullpen, Hearn then allowed a single to Scott put runners on the corners; the first real danger had faced in his outing. Hearn got Dermis Garcia to pop out before being pulled from the contest with one out remaining in the inning.
Santana replaced Hearn with the runners remaining at first and third and got to ground out to second base on a 3-2 slider to keep the score locked at nil heading to the sixth inning.
A’s starter Kaprielian left in the sixth after a solid outing. Kirby Snead entered the contest for Oakland, retired Corey Seagar, and promptly allowed a single to Nathanial Lowe and an Adolis Garcia double — his 18th of the year — before walking Leody Taveras. The walk gave Texas the bases-loaded, one-out opportunity as Snead was yanked from his outing, allowing the mess he left for A’s reliever Domingo Acevedo to clean up.
Like Santana in the bottom of the fifth, Acevedo escaped the jam getting Charlie Culberson to bounce into a double play in a pinch-hit effort instead of starting designated hitter Kole Calhoun. The missed scoring chance by Texas would leave the game knotted at zeros in the middle of the sixth inning.
Santana wasn’t as sharp in the sixth and was pulled in the fifth and was scratched from the contest after bases jacked full of A’s. Matt Moore was brought in to relieve.
Moore’s seventh pitch, a 3-2, 94.6 MPH four-seam fastball to Seth Brown, was smashed to Lowe at first base before bouncing off his chest for an error allowing Vimael Machine to score from third for the first runs of the contest. Chad Pinder hit a sacrifice play to score another run and a 2-0 lead for Oakland.
Moore had not yielded a run in his last six appearances ahead of the contest with the A’s. Moore got another long fly ball to center field by the next Oakland batter, and Taveras made a strong throw home to keep the Oakland from scoring. Moore secured his third pop-out of the inning against Stephen Piscotty, stopping the A’s rally at only two runs.
Texas would score their lone run of the day in the top of the seventh inning Ezequiel Duran hit a double, and Marcus Semien would double to right field, scoring Duran, to cut the A’s lead to 3-1. The Rangers would score no more and lose by that tally, with Santana suffering the loss for Texas and dropping this record 3-6 on the year.
The Rangers have the sixth-worst defense in baseball and had committed 59 errors on the season. On Saturday, three more defensive blunders were added to the stat sheets for Texas. Though the Rangers were defeated, the win against the Marlins on July 22 was Texas’ 21st road win of the season, matching their total wins on the road in 2021.
The Rangers will look to keep from being swept in the East Bay on Sunday when they take on Oakland again at 3:07 CTD on Rickey Henderson Field. Probable starting pitchers in the contest are Ranger’s ace Martin Perez (7-2, 2.68), fresh off his 20222 MLB All-Star Game appearance, and Paul Blackburn (6-5, 3.62) for Oakland.