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Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - Michael Young finished 4-for-4 with three runs scored, and Taylor Teagardenhit a two-run homer, as the Texas Rangers defeated the Oakland Athletics, 7-4, in the rubber match of a three-game series.
Vladimir Guerrero drove in two runs for the Rangers, who have won five of their last seven games and increased their lead atop the AL West to 8 1/2 games over the A's.
C.J. Wilson (10-5) earned the win after he pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on seven hits with five strikeouts.
Vin Mazzaro (6-3) started on the hill for the visitors and was charged with seven runs on 12 hits over 5 1/3 frames.
Ra jai Davis posted two hits, an RBI and a run scored for Oakland, which entered this series as winners in four of its previous five and will now travel to Chicago for a weekend series against the White Sox.
After Oakland opened the scoring in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Kurt Suzuki, the Rangers moved ahead 2-1 in the home portion of the frame.
Guerrero's RBI single in the third, which scored Young, made it 3-1.
Texas pushed its cushion to three in the fifth. Young led off with a double, and Hamilton singled to put runners on the corners. When Guerrero grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, Young crossed the plate.
In the top of the sixth, Oakland cut its deficit to 4-3 with a pair of runs. Kevin Kouzmanoff doubled leading off and headed for third on a one-out single by Mark Ellis. Landon Powell followed and grounded into a fielder's choice, scoring Kouzmanoff on the play. Later in the frame, a double by Cliff Pennington plated Powell.
Texas, though, essentially put the game away with three runs in the home half of the sixth. Murphy led off with his fifth home run of the year, and Joaquin Arias followed with a base hit. With one out, Teagarden belted a fastball over the wall in right field to give the hosts a 7-3 advantage.
Darren O'Day pitched two consecutive perfect innings, and Frank Francisco came on for the ninth. Francisco yielded a one-out single to Coco Crisp, who snagged second on defensive indifference and then scored on a single by Davis. Suzuki, though, grounded into a game-ending double play.
The Rangers lead the season series, 5-4...Mazzaro lost for the second time on the road this season (4-2)...Texas posted 14 hits compared to 10 for Oakland...Davis stole two bases and has 32 swipes this season...The A's were 3-for-10 with runners in scoring position...Hamilton was 3-for-4.
(Sports Network) - After coming through with a much-needed victory on Wednesday, the Oakland Athletics will try to gain further ground on the American League West-leading Texas Rangers when the divisional rivals wrap up a three-game series tonight at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
The Athletics lost 3-1 to Texas in a 10-inning thriller on Tuesday, but were able to avenge that defeat with a dominant performance from Trevor Cahill last night. The All-Star hurler delivered eight shutout innings and Kurt Suzuki knocked in a pair of runs as Oakland evened this key set with a 3-1 triumph.
Cahill (10-4) limited a potent Rangers offense to a mere two hits and walked three in outdueling Texas starterColby Lewis, who gave up just one run and five hits while registering eight strikeouts over his seven innings of work.
"He was outstanding," A's manager Bob Geren said of Cahill. "When you think about the environment he was pitching in, the weather, the team, it was about as good as you can do."
Lewis held his own as well until the sixth inning, when Suzuki snapped a scoreless tie by hitting his team-leading 12th homer of the year. The Oakland catcher later added an RBI single during a two-run eighth that gave his club a 3-0 advantage.
"[Lewis] left one pitch up to Suzuki, and when you make a mistake to that kid he usually doesn't miss," Rangers manager Ron Washington remarked.
Nelson Cruz, who had the game-winning homer in the 10th inning of Tuesday's opener, had one of Texas' two hits of Cahill to extend his hitting streak to 16 games. The standout outfielder is batting .403 (27-for-67) with three homers and 16 RBI during his career-best tear.
Oakland now has won 10 of its last 13 contests, but still trails the front- running Rangers by 7 1/2 games in the AL West standings. Texas had won four of five prior to Wednesday's setback.
The Rangers will attempt to bounce back behind C.J. Wilson, who's been as good as any pitcher on a Texas staff that also contains former AL Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee over the past few weeks. The converted closer comes in having won six of his last eight decisions and has yielded two runs or less seven times in a nine-start span dating back to June 9, producing an excellent 2.33 earned run average over that stretch.
Wilson has been especially strong since the All-Star break. After permitting just one run and three hits and racking up a career-best 10 strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings to defeat Boston on July 18, the left-hander fired eight shutout innings to lead Texas to a 1-0 victory over rival Anaheim this past Friday in his second start of the second half.
The 29-year-old is also an impressive 7-2 with a 3.18 ERA in 12 outings at hitter-friendly Rangers Ballpark for the year, and allowed one run in a seven- inning no-decision against the A's in Arlington back in May. Wilson had faced Oakland 30 times in relief prior to that start and went 1-3 with a 5.08 ERA and five saves in those games.
The Athletics counter with a pitcher who's on quite a roll of his own in Vin Mazzaro. The young right-hander enters the finale with a 4-0 record and an outstanding 2.12 ERA over his past five assignments and has lasted at least six innings in each of his six most recent starts.
Most notably, most of Mazzaro's success has come on the road, where he's compiled a 4-1 mark along with a 3.13 ERA in seven games (five starts). The second-year major-leaguer has emerged triumphant in three straight away starts, including a July 17 clash at Kansas City in which he surrendered one run in a career-best 7 2/3 innings of work.
Mazzaro followed up by holding AL Central-leading Chicago to two runs and three hits in a sharp six-inning stint on Saturday, which ran his season record to 6-2.
The 23-year-old did not fare well in a meeting with the Rangers on May 4, however, with Mazzaro reached for four runs and issuing four walks before exiting after three innings.
These divisional foes have split eight meetings thus far in 2010, with the Rangers having prevailed in three of the five matchups held in Arlington.
Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - Trevor Cahill allowed two hits over eight innings in a dominant performance, and Kurt Suzuki homered and knocked in two runs to guide Oakland in 3-1 win over the Texas Rangers in the middle contest of a three-game series.
Cahill (10-4), who was winless in his previous two appearances, walked three and struck out four batters as theAthletics won for the 10th time in 13 games.
Coco Crisp and Jack Cust each had two hits for the A's, who bounced back from a 3-1 loss in 10 innings on Tuesday when Nelson Cruz hit the game-winning homer off Michael Wuertz. A night later, Wuertz surrendered an RBI single to Vladimir Guerrero in the ninth inning. Craig Breslow entered with one out and fanned bothJosh Hamilton and Cruz to end the game to pick up his second career save.
Colby Lewis (9-7) was charged with five hits and a run, while fanning eight batters in seven innings.
The AL West-leading Rangers suffered their third loss in the last 10 games.
The game was scoreless until one out in the sixth when Suzuki hit his team- leading 12th homer of the year, a shot to left field.
Oakland added two more runs in the eighth against Darren Oliver. Crisp singled and went to second on an error by left fielder Josh Hamilton. After moving to third on a bunt, Crisp scored on Suzuki's base hit to right field. Cust followed with a single to right and Suzuki came home on a fielding error by Cruz.
Rajai Davis became the fifth player in Oakland history with a 30-steal season...Cahill is 5-1 lifetime against the Rangers.
(Sports Network) - Cliff Lee sure is one tough act to follow.
Colby Lewis will have to do just that tonight as he aims to pitch the Texas Rangers to a fourth straight victory over the Oakland Athletics in the middle contest of a three-game series at Rangers Ballpark.
In his fourth start with the Rangers since being acquired from Seattle by way of a trade, Lee hurled nine innings and gave up just one unearned run while striking out a career-high 13 batters last night, but did not get a decision in a 3-1 extra-inning victory over the Athletics.
It marked the third time with Texas that Lee has gone at least nine innings and seventh time in his last 10 starts overall.
"I don't go into a game trying to strike out a bunch of hitters, but when I am locating my fastball well and mixing in some off-speed pitches, I'm going to get a bunch of strikeouts," said Lee.
Lee's outstanding outing was nearly wasted, but Nelson Cruz belted a walk-off two-run homer in the 10th inning to give Texas a 4-1 mark so far on a seven- game homestand and its seventh win in its last nine games overall.
"I hit it pretty well," said Cruz. "It was one of those hits when you make good contact -- I was just looking for a pitch to drive and I got one."
The American League West-leading Rangers own an 8 1/2-game lead over the Athletics and Angels in the division and have won three straight and four of seven versus Oakland this season.
Lewis will try to extend that series win streak this evening, though the right-hander had a two-start winning run end Wednesday versus Detroit. Lewis allowed four runs on nine hits over seven innings, falling to 9-6 with a 3.52 earned run average on the season and 2-2 with a 4.97 ERA over his last five starts.
The 30-year-old is 5-1 with a 3.40 ERA in eight home starts in 2010 and 2-1 with a 3.65 ERA in eight games, six of those starts, lifetime versus the A's. He has faced them twice this year, going 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA.
Trevor Cahill counters for Oakland and is 9-4 with a 3.15 ERA on the season. The 22-year-old was drilled for five runs over 6 2/3 innings of a no-decision versus Kansas City on July 17 and is coming off Friday's loss to theChicago White Sox. Cahill was better in that game, yielding three runs -- two earned -- on four hits and two walks in seven innings of work.
The righty is 4-1 with a 2.23 ERA in six lifetime starts against Texas, including 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA in two this season.
Cahill will hope for better support tonight after Kurt Suzuki drove in Oakland's lone run on Tuesday. The Athletics came into the game having won nine of their last 11 and scored 28 runs in their previous five contests.
Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - Cliff Lee set a career high with 13 strikeouts over nine brilliant innings and Nelson Cruz belted a two-run, game- winning home run in the bottom of the 10th, as the Texas Rangers edged the Oakland Athletics, 3-1, in the opener of a three-game series.
Lee did not factor in the decision, but he was the story of the game nonetheless. He allowed one unearned run on five hits and did not issue a walk for the Rangers, who have won four of their last five contests.
Kurt Suzuki drove in the only run for Oakland, which entered this series as winners in nine of its last 11 games overall.
Josh Hamilton drew a one-out walk off Michael Wuertz (2-2). The next batter was Cruz, who buried a hanging slider into the seats in left field as the Rangers bench cleared and celebrated around home plate.
The blast by Cruz -- his 14th homer of the season -- made a winner of Neftali Feliz (2-2).
The Rangers opened an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Michael Young worked a one-out walk and after Ian Kinsler fouled out, Vladimir Guerrero hit a double to right field which brought home Young.
Lee retired the first six Oakland batters in a row, but yielded a pair of singles in the third. Daric Barton, however, lined out to end the threat.
In both the fourth and fifth frames, Lee was perfect again before the A's knotted the contest in the top of the sixth. Coco Crisp reached first via a one-out infield single, stole second base and moved to third on Bengie Molina's wild throw before coming in on an RBI single by Suzuki.
Lee continued to deal into the later innings. The southpaw posted a 1-2-3 seventh and did the same in the top of the eighth -- that one came in the form of three consecutive strikeouts.
Chris Davis drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the ninth, was bunted to second by Julio Borbon and headed for third when Elvis Andrus hit a grounder to the right side of the infield. Young was then intentionally walked but Kinsler -- with a 3-0 count -- swung at a high, outside pitch and fouled out.
Lee tied Jamie Moyer (1989) for the most strikeouts in a game by a Rangers left-hander and is the first Rangers twirler to notch 13 strikeouts in an outing since Aaron Sele in 1999. Incredibly, he has pitched at least eight innings in eight straight starts, some of which were with Seattle...Gio Gonzalez started for Oakland and allowed one run on five hits with six strikeouts and three walks in six innings...The Rangers left 11 men on base.
Lee will try to build off that win this evening when Texas begins a three-game series versus the Oakland Athletics at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Lee went 0-1 over his first two starts since being acquired from Seattle despite going nine innings in each of outing. He gave up eight runs in that span while only getting three runs of support, but the Rangers matched that total on Thursday versus the Angels to get Lee a 3-2 win.
The 31-year-old left-hander scattered two runs and five hits over 8 1/3 innings, giving him a 3.42 earned run average in three starts with Texas and a 9-4 mark with a 2.56 ERA in 16 total 2010 starts.
"Any time you get that deep into the game, and give the team a chance, you have to feel good about it," said Lee.
Lee also improved to 5-4 with a 6.60 ERA in nine career starts at Rangers Ballpark and is 4-2 with a 2.61 ERA lifetime versus the Athletics.
Lee gave the Rangers a victory in the opener of a key four-game set with the Angels last week. The series went Texas' way as Sunday's 6-4 win allowed them to take three out of four and leave the series with a seven-game lead over Los Angeles in the American League West standings.
Josh Hamilton had three hits and drove in three runs on Sunday, while Nelson Cruz and Michael Young each had two hits and an RBI. Cruz extended his hitting streak to 14 games, hitting .414 (24-for-58) in that timeframe with a pair of homers and 14 RBI.
"I was happy with our effort. We came out and played hard all four nights," Young said. "That's what we've been doing real well."
Tommy Hunter improved to 8-0 on the season after holding Los Angeles to three runs on three hits over 6 1/3 innings.
Texas will begin a nine-game road trip on Friday versus the Angels, but first they must deal with an Oakland club that has won nine of its last 11 games. The Athletics took two of three versus the White Sox over the weekend, winning Sunday's finale, 6-4.
In his second start since a disabled list stint due to an elbow injury, Dallas Braden gave up three runs over 6 1/3 innings to win for the first time in 10 starts (0-5) since his perfect game back on May 9.
"A lot of things seem to get lost in that stretch ... People forget I threw a complete game after [my perfect game]. People forget about that because the win-loss [record] is so glaring," Braden said.
Kurt Suzuki, who signed a four-year contract extension on Friday, drove in three runs for Oakland and is batting .412 (14-for-34) over his last nine games with a homer and six RBI.
The A's will look to keep rolling tonight behind Gio Gonzalez, who has won back-to-back starts and is 3-1 over his last four outings.
After throwing seven innings of one-run ball versus the Royals on July 16, the 24-year-old southpaw was charged with four runs, seven hits and two walks over six frames of a 6-4 triumph over Boston on Wednesday.
Gonzalez is 9-6 with a 3.75 ERA this year and 1-1 with a 2.63 ERA in four career games versus the Rangers, two of those starts. That loss came in Texas on May 12, as he gave up four runs on nine hits over four innings.
These two clubs have split six meetings so far this year, with the Rangers taking two of three at home from May 11-13.
|Wed 07/28 - Trevor Cahill vs. Colby Lewis||5:05 PM PDT|
|Thu 07/29 - Vin Mazzro vs. C.J. Wilson||5:05 PM PDT|