Recap: A’s @ Rangers Game 154
The A’s beat the Rangers in ten innings 3-2. The Orioles lost, the Angels won. So the A’s gained a game to be within one and a half of Baltimore for the first wild card spot, and maintained their two game lead on Los Angeles for the second wild card all the while closing the gap to four games behind the AL West leading Rangers whom they beat.
- The A’s hero was catcher George Kottaras. Kottaras launched a solo shot off of Mark Lowe to lead off the top of the tenth inning to give Oakland the win. Kottaras whose arrival spelled the departure of Kurt Suzuki, hit his sixth home run as an Athletic to move his A’s slash line to .231/.294/.513 with an impressive .343 wOBA and 119 wRC+ in just 85 plate appearances for 0.5 WAR. Overall Kottaras went 2-for-4 with a K in the ballgame.
- Designated hitter Chris Carter (Daric Barton got the start at first base) also had a home run in this one off of Rangers’ spot starter Scott Feldman who got the start when Yu Darvish was a late scratch. It was Carter’s 16th home run of the year and the lone highlight of a 1-for-3 night with a walk and strikeout.
- On the mound the A’s failed to give up an earned run in the ballgame. The only two runs scoring on a misplayed Josh Hamilton single in the first inning. The ball which got through the wickets of Brandon Moss in right field (who promptly stopped, not that there was much he could do at that point) allowed Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus to score with two unearned runs. That helped make Tommy Milone‘s line on the night: six innings pitched, two runs (none earned) on six hits, walking no one and striking out three.
- Milone was replaced by a sketchy Jim Miller who only lasted two thirds of an inning walking two and striking out one. Sean Doolittle relieved him allowing a hit and accruing a strikeout in an inning and a third followed by a perfect inning with a K by eventual winner Evan Scribner. Grant Balfour also pitched a perfect inning accumulating two K’s in his frame, to earn his 21st save on the year.