ARLINGTON, Texas – While the Rangers’ overall picture improved with Thursday’s 9-7 win over Oakland, concerns about set-up Mike Adams have blossomed.
Adams gave up three home runs in the eighth inning, after allowing just one home run all season.
In fact, Adams had never given up more than one home run in an appearance his entire career before now.
Rangers manager Ron Washington remained steadfast that he has no concerns about Adams as the division race winds down.
“He just had a bad day,” Washington said. “Prior to today, Mike Adams has been nails.”
Actually, Adams hasn’t had a 1-2-3 inning since Aug. 27. His velocity has dipped recently, indicating he could still be dealing with the right shoulder soreness that caused him to sit seven days in September.
Adams received a cortisone injection after allowing two hits and two walks and getting just two outs in a 26-pitch outing Sept. 11.
The homers hit by Yoenis Cespedes, Brandon Moss and Josh Reddick allowed Oakland to have the tying run in the on-deck circle in the top of the ninth.
Adams sandwiched two strikeouts between the three homers before being replaced by Koji Uehara.
Cespedes led off the inning by crushing Adams’ first pitch 412 feet into the left field seats. After striking out Chris Carter, Adams gave up a 371-foot homer to right to Brandon Moss on a 3-2 count.
Adams induced a strikeout from Josh Donaldson, then served up Josh Reddick’s second homer of the game, a 358-foot shot to right.
It marked the first time a Rangers reliever had allowed three home runs since Dave Bush surrendered three on May 27, 2011.
If the Rangers are looking at eighth-inning options, Uehara would be a good place to start. Uehara has retired all 17 batters he’s faced in his last seven games, recording10 strikeouts along the way.
Alexi Ogando is another option. Ogando worked the seventh inning Thursday and gave up just one hit.
Ogando also pitched two innings Tuesday, allowing just one hit and striking out three.