Texas Rangers. 4.-7-0
Oakland Athletics. 6-7-0
August 5, 2020
By Lewis Rubman
OAKLAND–The division leading A’s, hoping to extend their slender half-game advantage over Houston, sent Sean Manaea to the mound this evening, hoping to extend the number of innings he could pitch effectively in a start. The promising southpaw, who spent most of last season rehabbing from shoulder surgery, hadn’t made it out of the fifth frame in either of his two starts in this year’s stop and start season.
Starting strong and running out of gas wasn’t Manaea’s problem tonight. Shin-Soo Choo blasted his first offering into the State Farm banner just to the left of the 388 foot sign in left field. It was his third round tripper of the season.Manaea settled down after that, striking out three of the four batters he faced in what was left of the first, retiring the side in order in the second, and escaping without damage in spite if Elvis Andrus’s double and steal of third in the third.
Manaea’s opponent on the mound, Kyle Gibson, who signed with the Rangers during the off season as a free agent after spending seven years with the Minnesota Twins, came into game having made one appearance with his new club, a five inning start against Arizona, in which he gave up three runs, none of them earned, while giving up five hits and three walks. He also notched four strikes outs.
Gibson also had trouble with the long ball in the first. With one down and Marcus Semien on base with a lead off single, Matt Olson drove the runner home by driving Gibson’’s 92 mph four seamer over the 367 foot sign in right center field, putting the A’s up, 2-1.
That lead held until top of the fourth inning. Todd Frazier led off with a single to center, advancing to second when Manaea walked Robinson Chirinos. Burch Smith began warming up in the A’s bull pen when the next Texas batter, Nick Solak, came to the plate. Solak smacked Manaea’s 65th pitch into the right field corner for a double that plated Frazier and sent Chirinos to third.
IsiahKiner-Falefa then hit a dribbler that Chapman, his counterpart at third, wasn’t able to barehand. It advanced Solak to third and was scored correctly as a hit. That ended Manaea’s work for the night, and Burch Smith took the mound to relieve him. The first Ranger Smith faced was Rob Refsnyder, whose sacrifice fly to right center drove in Solak with the fourth run for Texas. That closed out to book on Manaea, whose line was four runs, all earned, on six hits one walk in three and a third innings pitched. He threw 74 pitches, 48 of which were strikess, and struck out five Rangers.
Ramon Laureano closed the gap to 4-3 with a 419 foot solo homer to center on a 92 mph sinker from Gibson, who finished up that inning and the sixth without further damage before yielding to Ian Gibaut, who took over to start the bottom of the seventh.
Gibaut struck out Pescotty, Semien, and Laureano, but in between he gave up a single to Kemp and a 406 foot home run to rookie catcher Austen Allen, undoing a respectable performance by Gibson and giving Oakland a 5-4 lead, which was stretched to 6-4 when Olson greeted Luke Farrell, Gibaut’s replacement in the bottom of the eighth, with his second four bagger of the night, again to rightcenter.
T.J.McFarlan was the was the pitcher of record for Oakland when Allen sent the ball sailing into the seats and so was credited with the win. Joakim Soria, who pitched the last inning and two-thirds for the A’s got the save. The loss went to Gibaudt.
The Astros were trailing Arizona 14-7 after eight innings when the game here ended, so, for the moment, the A’s enjoy a one game lead over Houston in the AL West.
The Athletics will send Mike Fiers to face the Rangers’ Mike Minor at 12:40 tomorrow afternoon.