Texas Rangers catcher Meibrys Viloria can’t get a handle on the ball as Oakland Athletics’ Sean Murphy (12) scores on a single by Chad Pinder in the top of eighth at Globe Life Field in Arlington on Wed Aug 17, 2022 (AP News photo)
By Jerry Feitelberg
On another emotional day for the Oakland A’s (43-75) and the Texas Rangers (52-65), the A’s won their second game in a row, downing the Rangers 7-2. The A’s cut ties with their veteran shortstop Elvis Andrus. Andrus can now sign with any team. I have included the A’s press release in the game notes section.
The Rangers are in a bit of turmoil, too. On Monday, the Rangers fired their manager Chris Woodward. On Wednesday, they dismissed Jon Daniels, who was with the team for 17 years and was the president of their baseball operations. Daniels had also been their general manager. The Rangers also designated pitcher Garrett Richards for assignment.
Even with all the day’s events, the teams still had to play a baseball game. The A’s sent Adam Oller to the mound to face the Rangers. Oller struggled earlier in the season. His record of 1-5 and ERA of 7.62 was not impressive. He was sent down to Triple-A Las Vegas to work on some of his issues.
Since his return, he has performed better. On Wednesday night, Oller pitched his finest game as an Oakland Athletic. He went six innings and allowed five hits and one run. He recorded his second win of the year.
The Rangers’ starter, lefty Cole Ragans, went five innings and allowed four hits and three runs. The A’s catcher Sean Murphy sent two of Ragans’ pitches over the fence. Murph hit a solo blast in the first and a two-run jack in the fourth.
The A’s grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the first when Murphy homered with two out. It was Murph’s 15th of the season. The Rangers tied the score in their half of the inning. With one out Corey Seager singled. Seager went to second on a wild pitch. Oller retired Nate Lowe for the second out. Adolis Garcia doubled to drive in Seager with the run.
In the fourth, David MacKinnon walked, making his first start in an Oakland uniform. Murphy brought him home when he sent the ball over the fence in right-center-field. It was the second time in Murphy’s career that he had a multi-homer game. The A’s led 3-1. The Rangers’ pitching kept the A’s off the board until the eighth.
Murphy led off the inning in the eighth with a double, his third hit of the night. Chad Pinder singled to drive in Murphy. The play at the plate was close. The throw to Rangers’ catcher Meibrys Viloria was on the money.
Unfortunately for Texas, Viloria could not hold onto the ball as it dropped out of his glove, attempting to put the tag on Murphy. Pinder went to third on the error.
Vimael Machin, pinch-hitting for Sheldon Neuse, singled to drive in Pinder with the A’s fifth run of the game. Oakland was done. The next hitter, Shea Langeliers, homered over the wall in right-center-field to put the A’s in the driver’s seat 7-1.
The Rangers scored a run in the bottom of the ninth, but it was too little, too late. The A’s win 7-2.
Game Notes: The A’s won their second in a row to improve to 43-75. The Rangers fall to 52-65.
The winning pitcher was Adam Oller. He is now 2-5. The loser was Cole Ragans.
Sean Murphy was the hitting star for Oakland. Murphy had a double, a solo homer, and a two-run shot. He drove in three runs. Rookie Shea Langeliers hit his first Major League home run in just his eighth at-bat in the bigs.
Game four of the series will start at 11:05 am on Thursday. The A’s will have lefty Zach Logue (3-6, 5.49) on the mound. Texas will counter with righty Dane Dunning (2-6, 4.12)
The time of the game was two hours and 58 minutes. 14,846 fans were on hand to watch the A’s down the Rangers
Here is the press release from the A’s regarding Elvis Andrus
OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics recalled infielder Sheldon Neuse from Triple-A Las Vegas and released shortstop Elvis Andrus, the club announced today.
Neuse joins the A’s for the third time this year and is batting .227 with three home runs and 21 RBI in 70 games over his first two stints with Oakland. He was on the A’s Opening Day roster and hit .329 over his first 22 games, but a 13-for-91 (.143) stretch preceded his first option to Las Vegas on June 7.
The 27-year-old right-handed hitter batted .227 with a home run and four RBI in 21 games during his second stint from June 21 to July 27. Neuse is hitting .398 with five home runs, 20 RBI, and a 1.018 OPS in 25 games with the Aviators.
Andrus was batting .237 with eight home runs and 30 RBI in 106 games in his second season with Oakland. He was acquired by the A’s from the Texas Rangers on Feb. 6, 2021, with Aramis Garcia for Khris Davis, Jonah Heim, and Dane Acker and hit .243 with three home runs and 37 RBI in 146 games in his A’s debut last year.
The 33-year-old is a two-time All-Star (2010, 12) and left as the Rangers’ all-time leader in stolen bases (305). He also ranked second in games (1652), at-bats (6366) and triples (48), third in runs (893) and hits (1743), fifth in doubles (303) and walks (519), seventh in RBI (636) and eighth in extra-base hits (427).
Andrus has played 1,872 career games in the field, all at shortstop, which is the fifth-longest career-opening streak of appearing only at shortstop in Major League history behind Derek Jeter (2674), Luis Aparicio (2583), Ozzie Smith (2511) and Alan Trammell (1910). He is a .270 career hitter with 87 home runs and 703 RBI in 1,904 games in 14 seasons in the majors. Andrus is the active leader in stolen bases (324), is tied for fourth in triples (50), ranks sixth in hits (1948) and games (1904), and ninth in runs (994).