Rangers 6, Athletics 1
Roy Oswalt threw one curveball clocked at 57 mph. His fastball
In vintage Oswalt style, the right-hander used his wide-ranging
repertoire to baffle Oakland’s batters and beat the Athletics for
the first time, leading the Texas Rangers to a 6-1 victory Tuesday
Oswalt worked ahead and painted the corners the like pitcher of
old at age 34.
”That’s me, that’s my game,” Oswalt said. ”I’m the same
pitcher I’ve been the last 12 years.”
Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre each hit solo home runs for
Elvis Andrus, Craig Gentry and Mike Napoli hit RBI singles off
Bartolo Colon (6-8) for the AL West-leading Rangers, who snapped
the A’s four-game winning streak and avenged a June loss to Colon
in the Coliseum.
Oswalt (3-1) struck out six and didn’t walk anyone in 6 1-3
innings, retiring 15 of the final 17 hitters he faced in his fifth
start of the year and first against the A’s. The crafty
right-hander had never beaten Oakland in two previous outings,
including a loss at the Coliseum on June 7, 2002.
This time, he did it by mixing speeds and pitches to keep
Oakland’s hitters off balance. He struck out Seth Smith to end the
sixth on a 71 mph off-speed offering.
While Oswalt would have liked to finish the seventh, he knows he
is making progress with every appearance since signing a minor
league deal May 29 before his call up on June 22.
”I’m getting close. I feel better,” he said. ”The hitters
have 300 at-bats behind them and have seen a lot of pitchers, and
I’m trying to get up to speed.”
The Rangers won for the fifth time in six games but just the
third time in their last seven road contests.
Hamilton struck out three times before connecting for his 28th
home run to lead off the eighth. He added a sacrifice fly in the
ninth. The All-Star slugger kept his average right at .300, and
hasn’t dipped below that mark all season – though he did briefly
during the game.
”I hadn’t really paid attention to it. I knew I was going down
the last month to month and a half,” Hamilton said. ”I’m not
really panicking at all.”
Josh Reddick homered for the A’s, who had some momentum after a
three-game sweep at Minnesota only to come home and face the
two-time reigning AL champions. Oakland missed an opportunity with
the bases loaded in the eighth.
Reddick didn’t consider Oswalt’s night all that special even
though the A’s managed just three hits against the veteran
”I don’t feel like he was very good. I felt like we had a lot
of swing and misses,” Reddick said. ”We had a pretty good go at
him. We saw a lot of pitches early. Just bad swings in front of the
ball. I don’t feel like his stuff was very far out there.”
Colon, who tossed eight scoreless innings to beat the Rangers on
June 6 in the Coliseum, was tagged for eight hits and four runs in
seven innings. He remained winless in three starts since coming off
the disabled list from a strained oblique muscle. He fell to 2-6 at
home this season and hasn’t won in four outings since June 12 at
The right-hander is 18-7 against Texas in 29 career starts for
his most wins against any opponent – and 19 would have matched Hall
of Famer Bert Blyleven, Dennis Leonard and Jack Morris for most by
In Texas’ three-run fourth started by Beltre’s 17th home run,
the Rangers scored on a squeeze when Colon fielded the ball and
opted not to throw to first when second baseman Jemile Weeks worked
to cover the bag. Colon took the blame.
Oakland, 9-2 in July, failed to move four games over .500 for
the first time since May 31, 2010. The A’s have never won their
first four games after the All-Star break.
Oakland slugger Yoenis Cespedes, nursing a sprained left thumb,
doubled among his two hits as designated hitter and hopes to be
back in the outfield Wednesday afternoon if he is able to put his
hand in the glove without discomfort. He struck out for the second
out of the eighth.
Oswalt struck out the side in the fourth, when he gave up only a
single to Cespedes.
The bottom of Oakland’s order isn’t producing.
”You have to stick with guys,” manager Bob Melvin said.
”We’ve been pretty good offensively even though some guys have
been struggling. When guys aren’t hitting you expect the rest of
the lineup to be able to pick you up.”
NOTES: Rangers 1B Mitch Moreland, on the 15-day DL since June 22
with a strained left hamstring, did baseball activity and is
scheduled to do extensive work fielding groundballs Friday with the
hopes he will begin a rehab assignment Monday. … A’s OF Coco
Crisp was out of the lineup for a third straight game with a sore
left shoulder he aggravated on Friday night at Minnesota. Crisp hit
and did baseball work and could be in the lineup Wednesday. He saw
a doctor and has no structural damage. … LHP Brett Anderson,
recovering from Tommy John elbow reconstructive surgery, faced
hitters Monday in a three-inning simulated game and will throw a
bullpen session Wednesday. If all goes well, he will begin a rehab
assignment with Class-A Stockton this weekend. … Oakland opening
day RHP starter Brandon McCarthy (strained throwing shoulder) will
throw a bullpen Wednesday. … The Rangers are scheduled to
activate RHP Colby Lewis (6-6) from the DL to start Wednesday
afternoon against LHP Travis Blackley (2-2). … A’s OF Jonny Gomes
received the ”Heart & Hustle Award” in a pregame ceremony.
… A’s reliever Jim Miller rejoined the team after he and wife,
Tasha, welcomed son, Ethan James, on Thursday in Virginia.