Rangers-Athletics Preview

Coco Crisp’s return helped the Oakland Athletics get back to

.500. The hot-hitting center fielder might be a reason they get

above the break-even mark for just the second time this season.

Crisp looks to continue his torrid hitting when the A’s conclude

a four-game set with the stumbling Texas Rangers on Monday.

Oakland (14-14) has topped the .500 mark once this season when

it was 9-8. The team is in position to regain that status again

after beating Texas 7-2 on Sunday to win for the third time in four

games.

Crisp, sporting a retro afro hair style, had two hits and one

RBI on Sunday, connecting for a leadoff double before scoring in a

three-run first after missing the three previous games with a tight

quadriceps.

“Obviously, that’s what you want to do as a leadoff hitter is

get on base,” Crisp said. “It definitely felt good after a few days

off to come back and right off the bat get something going.”

Despite the recent injury, Crisp has been hot over his last five

games, going 12 for 21 with three doubles, one triple, three RBIs

and five runs.

Crisp has a .341 average with one homer, six RBIs and eight runs

over his last 10 meetings with the Rangers (16-12) since joining

Oakland as a free agent prior to last season.

Conor Jackson is also producing at the plate for the A’s,

collecting five hits in this series with three doubles and two

RBIs. In the past seven games, he’s 9 for 25 with three doubles,

one homer and seven RBIs.

Crisp and Jackson are providing some punch for an Oakland lineup

that ranks near the bottom of the league with a .240 average and 97

runs. The club has scored more than six runs in a game four times –

all wins.

Brandon McCarthy (1-2, 3.57 ERA) will try to help the A’s

improve to 3-1 on a seven-game homestand in his first meeting with

his former club after spending four injury-plagued seasons with

Texas, including all of 2010 recovering from shoulder surgery.

The right-hander became a free agent following his refusal to

accept a minor league assignment in the offseason.

Now, McCarthy is trying to rebound from his worst performance of

the season, allowing seven runs and a career-high 14 hits in 5 1-3

innings of an 8-3 loss at Los Angeles on Tuesday. That was in stark

contrast to his previous two outings during which he surrendered

one run and 10 hits in 14 2-3 innings with 13 strikeouts.

He’s hasn’t faced the Rangers since appearing in relief for the

Chicago White Sox on June 13, 2006.

The Rangers have dropped five of seven while committing eight

errors, including three Sunday. Their 25 errors tie Oakland for

most in the AL.

Derek Holland (3-1, 5.12) looks for improvement after giving up

five runs in each of his last three starts. The most recent outing

was his shortest of the season, as he lasted five innings while

allowing 11 hits before leaving without a decision in a 7-6 win

over Toronto on Wednesday.

The left-hander is 1-1 with a 2.35 ERA in three starts against

the A’s.

Elvis Andrus is hitting .340 with 10 runs in the last 12 games,

and is 10 for 30 during a seven-game hitting streak with five hits

coming in this series.