Rapid Reaction: Athletics 1, Rangers 0

May, 21, 2013
5/21/13
10:45
PM CT


ARLINGTON, Texas -- Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Dan Straily entered Tuesday night’s game with a 7.27 ERA.

But, for one night, Straily outpitched the heralded Yu Darvish in the rarest of rare happenings at Rangers Ballpark, a game in which one run is enough to win. This marks only the 13th time a 1-0 result has been played since the stadium opened in 1994.

Yoenis Cespedes’ home run in the third inning off Darvish stood up as the game winner.

The Rangers offense came close to taking the night off. Three singles was all they could muster off Straily and two relievers, Sean Doolittle and Grant Balfour.

So dominant was the Oakland pitching that Texas never advanced a baserunner as far as second.

Texas' hits belonged to A.J. Pierzynski -- fresh off the disabled list -- in the third, Jurickson Profar in the fifth (caught stealing second) and Craig Gentry with an infield single in the eighth.

Streak breaker:
Darvish was starting for the sixth time after a loss on Tuesday. In the previous five tries, Darvish was 5-0. But the combination of no run support and Cespedes’ home run in the third inning denied Darvish a chance to win his eighth. A high pitch count plagued Darvish (7-2) once again. He left after six innings having thrown 101 pitches, only 56 for strikes.

Cespedes, batting with two out in the third, hit the first pitch he saw an estimated 401 feet over the center-field wall.

Setup man:
A case could be made for Tanner Scheppers to be in the running for most valuable Ranger so far. He has filled the eighth-inning setup role handled last season by Mike Adams. Scheppers came into Tuesday’s game with a 3-0 record, tied for the league lead in relief wins, and an ERA of 0.79. Prior to allowing a solo home run to Miguel Cabrera on Sunday, his scoreless streak stretched eight innings.

Scheppers recorded another shutout eighth inning on Tuesday, but not without some difficulty. A hit batsman and a walk put Scheppers in an immediate hole, but he worked his way out of trouble with the aid of a couple of strikeouts and a fly ball to right field with the bases loaded.

Defensive gems:
Elvis Andrus went to his left and made a diving stop of Chris Young’s ground ball. Andrus quickly popped back to his feet and made a strong throw that beat Young by a step. An inning later, Andrus made a brilliant double-play turn. Andrus came into the game with only one error this season, handling 158 total chances going into Tuesday’s game. But he picked up error No. 2 in the eighth inning when his throw pulled Profar off second base on a fielder’s choice grounder in the seventh.

Who’s on first?
The situation called for Profar, for just a moment, to become a first baseman. He looked quite comfortable making a first-baseman’s stretch to take a throw from Andrus and complete a double play in the fifth inning. Profar found himself at first base when Adam Rosales bunted in a sacrifice situation with Eric Sogard aboard.

Up next:
The Rangers wrap up the homestand against Oakland Wednesday at Rangers Ballpark. The Rangers' farm system will produce the starter for the second time in three games as Ross Wolf (1-0, 1.85 ERA at Triple-A Round Rock) draws the start for Texas, replacing Nick Tepesch, who is out with a blister on the middle finger of his right hand. The A’s will counter with right-hander Jarrod Parker (2-5, 6.04 ERA) at 1:05 p.m. CT on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Adrian Beltre
BA HR RBI R
.324 19 77 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
WC. Lewis 10
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182