by Charlie O. Mallonee
Game 160 is in the books for the Oakland Athletics and it will go into the loss column as the Texas Rangers won the game 5-3. After falling behind early in the game, the A’s fought their way back into the contest but could not overcome the Rangers five-run lead.
The end of a dream
The Athletics (74-86) went into the final four-game series in Texas with the goal of catching the Rangers in the standings and finishing the season in a tie for fourth-place in the American League West. The only way that could happen was for the A’s to sweep the series in Arlington. That cannot happen now and the A’s will finish alone in last place in the West.
Perez gets his revenge
The A’s chased Martin Perez from the game last Sunday in Oakland when they scored five runs off him in the bottom of the fifth-inning. Perez went to the showers after 4.2-innings on the mound and was tagged with the loss as the Athletics completed a sweep of the Rangers.
On Friday night, Perez worked 6.0 — innings giving up three runs (all earned) off five hits. He walked two and struck out two A’s. Perez allowed one home run.
Three Texas relief pitchers worked one inning each and allowed no runs and no hits in their time on the mound. The relievers worked the principle of the “Goose Eggs” to perfection. By allowing no runs in their three innings of relief work, they preserved the win for Perez.
Nunez chased Perez from the game
In the top of the seventh inning, Perez walked the leadoff batter Khris Davis. He then gave up a single to Ryon Healy that allowed Davis to move up to second base. That brought rookie Renato Nunez to the plate who took a 1-2 Perez fastball over the wall in right-center field for a three-run home run — the first of his MLB career. Unfortunately for the A’s, that would be the end of their scoring for the night.
Alcantara takes the loss
Raul Alcantara made another start for Oakland on Friday night. He struggled in his 4.1-innings of work. Alcantara allowed four runs (all earned) on five hits. He walked two, struck out two and allowed one home run. Alcantara (1-2) was tagged with the loss.
The A’s used four relief pitchers. Moll gave up a run while Castro, Casilla and Coulombe were able to post “Goose Eggs”.
Texas was efficient at the plate
The Rangers scored five runs off nine hits while leaving six runners on base. They were 2-for-3 with runners in scoring position.
- Shin-Soo Choo tied a career high by hitting his 22nd home run of the season with a runner on base raising his RBI total to 78.
- Elvis Andrus hit his 43rd double of the year.
- DH Nomar Mazara went 2-for-4 with two RBI and run scored. He raised his RBI total to 99 for 2017.
- Rookie Willie Calhoun — who was born in Vallejo — went 3-for-4 in the game with an RBI.
A’s with the bats
- Jed Lowrie broke the all-time Oakland record for doubles in a season when he hit number 48 off Perez Friday night. Jason Giambi was the previous record holder with 47.
- The A’s scored three runs on seven hits while leaving seven men on base.
- Oakland went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position.
Up next on Saturday
The A’s will send right-hander Daniel Gossett (1-4, 6.81) to the hill to face the Rangers RHP Andrew Cashner (7-4, 3.42). First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m.
Photos by USA Today Sports Andrew Dieb