Napoli’s slam helps lift Rangers over A’s 8-5
C.J. Wilson has high standards. Pitching seven effective innings
didn’t satisfy the Texas Rangers All-Star left-hander.
Wilson allowed four runs and five hits with eight strikeouts,
and got early support from Mike Napoli’s first-inning grand slam
off Gio Gonzalez as the Rangers stretched their winning streak to
five games with an 8-5 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Friday
night, a night after a fan was killed in a fall while catching a
Wilson (9-3) won his fifth straight decision to tie Alexi Ogando
for the team lead in wins, but he was critical of himself for
allowing three walks and hitting a batter, saying, ”I should have
Still, Wilson played a pivotal role as the Rangers matched their
second-longest winning streak of the season.
”I’m disappointed in myself for the line score but I’m happy
for the team for the win,” said Wilson, who did think he had a
live fastball. ”It was like the hardest I’ve thrown all year,” he
Josh Hamilton, who tossed the ball to the fan on Thursday night,
hit a fan with a foul ball off his bat in the sixth inning. The
teenage male fan had blood on his face and was tended to by stadium
personnel before he walked away, smiling while he held a compress
to his head.
Rangers officials said the fan was treated at the stadium and
was OK. They didn’t identify him or provide additional details.
”I saw it happen,” Hamilton said. ”Again.”
Hamilton said the fan didn’t appear to be paying attention to
the field when the ball struck him.
Both teams were still dealing with the aftermath of the death of
the fan from a 20-foot fall in the second inning of Thursday
night’s 6-0 Texas victory.
”You have a job to do,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. ”Both
sides are equal there. We both had heavy hearts. That’s moot. Both
teams had to deal with it.”
Brownwood firefighter Shannon Stone tumbled over a railing after
catching a foul ball tossed into the stands by Hamilton.
Ian Kinsler and Adrian Beltre also homered off Gonzalez (8-6),
Oakland’s lone All-Star.
Hamilton was in the starting lineup despite the emotional 24
hours, going 1 for 5.
Before the game, the teams observed a moment of silence in
Stone’s memory. Both teams wore black ribbons on their uniform
The temperature at first pitch was 105 degrees, highest in the
18-year history of Rangers Ballpark.
The A’s have lost five of seven.
Gonzalez had few answers for a slugging Rangers lineup that has
outscored opponents 44-16 during the five-game winning streak. He
lasted a season-low four innings, giving up seven runs – only three
earned – and seven hits.
Gonzalez consistently fell behind hitters, and he had to throw
fastballs when he didn’t want to.
”In situations where I had to go after them, I had to pitch in
their count,” Gonzalez said. ”You have to get ahead of these
guys. Got to pound that strike zone. It’s a good lineup, especially
in this ballpark. You’ve got to give credit where credit is due and
these guys are a good hitting team.”
Gonzalez entered the night with a 4-1 record and 2.18 ERA in
nine career appearances against the Rangers. Gonzalez had good
fortune on his side in his previous start at Texas on May 11 when
he gave up seven runs in 2 2-3 innings, but the game was postponed
by heavy rain.
The Rangers jumped on Gonzalez with a five-run first highlighted
by Napoli’s third career grand slam.
Texas scored the game’s first run when Oakland shortstop Adam
Rosales made a fielding error on Beltre’s hot grounder. Michael
Young reached on an infield single that rolled just inside the
third base foul line to load the bases, and after Nelson Cruz
struck out, Napoli ripped Gonzalez’s first pitch into the left
field seats for his 12th homer of the season.
Oakland’s Scott Sizemore hit a solo homer in the second, the
first long ball allowed by Wilson since Tampa Bay’s Matt Joyce on
May 31, a span of 44 1-3 innings.
The Rangers continued the power display in the second on
bases-empty homers by Kinsler and Beltre for a 7-1 advantage.
Oakland’s first three hitters reached in the fourth on two walks
and a single, and Coco Crisp scored from third on Conor Jackson’s
double-play grounder to make it 7-2.
Yorvit Torrealba’s RBI single in the fifth restored Texas’
The A’s cut the deficit to 8-4 in the sixth on Crisp’s RBI
infield single and Josh Willingham’s run-scoring double, but Wilson
struck out the final three batters in the inning.
Notes: The previous record temperature at Rangers Ballpark was
103 in 2008. … Napoli had Texas’ second grand slam of the season.
Beltre hit one on April 2 vs. Boston. Mitch Moreland also had a
bases-loaded homer on May 11, but the stats were washed away by the
rainout. …Major League Baseball announced that Beltre will be the
AL starter at 3B because Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees is out of