Rangers' bats silenced in shutout loss to A's
OAKLAND, Calif. — Texas Rangers designated hitter Michael Young said he expected the Rangers to be able to score in every game.
For the first 56 games of the season, that expectation held up.
Bartolo Colon put an end to that streak Wednesday night by combining with Brian Fuentes on a five-hit shutout as the Athletics blanked the Rangers 2-0.
The shutout, which squandered a complete-game effort from Colby Lewis, has been a week in coming. Texas has sputtered throughout their 10-game road trip, getting no-hit into the eighth inning Monday night and scoring just two or fewer runs three times before Wednesday.
Colon, who made a career out of mastering the Rangers a decade ago but hadn't won a game against Texas since 2009, allowed just one baserunner after the fourth inning and threw 100 pitches in eight innings, with 77 for strikes. Fuentes pitched a perfect ninth to complete the blanking.
Colon came into the game having allowed more base hits than any pitcher in the American League. The Texas offensive effort left the Rangers puzzled as they've had just four extra-base hits in the first three games of the series.
"We've got to be more consistent," said outfielder Nelson Cruz, who went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts. "It's that simple. We need to figure out a way to get in the zone a little bit and do what we're supposed to do."
There was no zone for the Rangers to get into Wednesday. Texas had one solid scoring opportunity early.
A base hit by Michael Young, a walk by David Murphy and a single from Mike Napoli loaded the bases for Mitch Moreland. But Moreland, who was hitting .309 on May 26, continued his recent struggles at the plate by grounding into an inning-ending double play on an inside fastball from Colon.
Moreland has now grounded into four double plays on the road trip and his average has dropped to .263 as he's in a 1-for-23 slump.
That opportunity was magnified because it was the last time the Rangers had a baserunner in scoring position.
"We had our opportunity in the second inning and hit into a double play," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "From that point on, both Colby and Bartolo loaded up the strike zone and made quick work of the hitters that were at the plate. We just didn't put any offense together. We just couldn't muster anything against him."
Oakland put just enough offense together against Lewis. The Athletics scored the only run they would need in the second inning on an RBI single from Brandon Inge. Oakland tacked on another in the fourth but Lewis would allow just one more baserunner after that.
Lewis pounded the strike zone, throwing 77 of his 101 pitches for strikes. He allowed just six hits, didn't walk a batter and struck out three. But for the 10th time in his 12 starts, the Rangers failed to score more than three runs.
"It is what it is," said Lewis, who pitched his first complete game of the season and fourth of his career. "You go out there and try to keep the team in the game. You can't worry about that side of things. You've got to go out there and keep doing what you're doing and try to go deep into the game and let things fall where they may."
At least Lewis (4-5), who lowered his ERA to 3.38, gave a break to a Texas bullpen that's been taxed on this road trip.
Washington said the pitching by Lewis was amazing. His offense said the same thing, which makes Wednesday even tougher to take.
"Everybody knows what this offense is capable of and we can have nights like this," Murphy said. "It's probably happened a little more frequently lately than we'd like. I think the biggest thing is you hate to waste a pitching performance like we got tonight because Colby did a great job."