Rookie CG for Rangers wraps up doubleheader sweep over A's
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Adrian Sampson provided quite a nightcap for the Texas Rangers after they retired the No. 29 jersey of former third baseman Adrián Beltré between games of a rare doubleheader.
Sampson threw a four-hitter for his first career complete game as the Rangers won 3-1 on Saturday night to wrap up a sweep over the Oakland Athletics.
"Tonight was all about No. 29, so it was just awesome to get a win for him," Sampson said, describing it like a playoff atmosphere. "When you've got something like this going on, it's a rare occasion, and it brings everyone up a little level on their game."
After a 10-5 win in the opener, the Rangers were without a hit off right-hander Chris Bassitt (3-2) in the nightcap until Danny Santana's one-out single in the fifth. Santana then scored the first Texas run, and added an RBI triple an inning later.
Sampson (5-3) struck out seven and walked one over 109 pitches to win his fifth game in a row, accounting for all of his big league wins over 20 career appearances. The rookie's first three wins came with the Rangers using an opener before he entered, and he has now won back-to-back starts.
"He was phenomenal, very similar to what he was last time. Very efficient, throwing strikes, commanding both sides, commanding his slider, a lot of swing-and-miss, a lot of weak contact," manager Chris Woodward said.
Mark Canha's solo shot in the fourth accounted for the only Oakland run.
"He just kept us off balance, I don't know if we're dragging a little bit," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "It'd be nice to get some sleep at some point but that's no excuse."
Santana had the first of three consecutive singles by the bottom third of the Rangers lineup in the fifth. A single by No. 9 hitter Jeff Mathis sent Santana home to tie it at 1. Shin-Soo Choo was then hit by a pitch — plunked for a club-record 58th time — before a sacrifice fly by Delino DeShields put the Rangers ahead to stay.
In the first game, the makeup of an April 13 rainout, Tim Federowicz had an immediate impact in his debut for Texas — both at the plate and behind it. The newly acquired catcher homered in his first big league game this season and got two pitchers through their big league debuts.
"That's always what we strive to do when we come up here. It was a good game," said Federowicz, who appeared in his 135th big league game, now with his sixth team since 2011.
Left-hander Joe Palumbo went four innings in his MLB debut after the 24-year-old right-hander was recalled from Double-A Frisco. He was sent back to the minors between games.
Phillips Valdez finished off the opener with two scoreless innings after being added as the Rangers' 26th player for the doubleheader. The 27-year-old pitcher's first big league game came after 214 minor league appearances over 10 seasons.
Jeffrey Springs (4-1) allowed one run over three innings after Palumbo gave up four runs with four strikeouts and no walks.
Federowicz was with Cleveland's Triple-A affiliate when he was acquired in a trade Friday and added to the Rangers roster after Isiah Kiner-Falefa was put on the 10-day injured list.
Nomar Mazara also went deep in the opener for Texas, a two-run shot in the third inning after putting the Rangers ahead to stay with his sacrifice fly in the first.
Texas had a three-run first off Paul Blackburn (0-1), who was called up as Oakland's 26th player for the doubleheader after being at Triple-A Las Vegas all season. The right-hander gave up five runs in three innings.
Matt Olson and Josh Phegley homered for the A's. Phegley also had a two-run double, on the first pitch he faced in the fourth when taking over with a 2-2 count after catcher Nick Hundley left the game because of back spasms that put him on the injured list.
It was the first doubleheader in Arlington since Sept. 30, 2012, a split doubleheader against the Los Angeles Angels. ... Texas (34-29) improved to a season-high five games over .500. ... Asdrúbal Cabrera had a two-run single in the opener. He has 35 RBIs this season for the Rangers, 29 of them in home games.
Athletics: Melvin said Hundley felt some spasms on his swing in the first at-bat.
Rangers: Choo had a hard time swinging Friday, when he missed his second game in a row since being hit on his left hand by a pitch Wednesday. He felt better Saturday, and convinced Woodward to let him play. Choo played both games, and was hit on the hip in the nightcap.
The Rangers and A's will play their fourth game in a 48-hour span with the afternoon series finale Sunday. Right-hander Frankie Montas (7-2) starts for Oakland, while Drew Smyly (1-4) is set to go for the Rangers.