Oakland Athletics vs. Texas Rangers Pitching Preview

By Karl Buscheck
Dan Straily
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

After battering the Seattle Mariners 10-2 in the final game of the homestand, the Oakland Athletics are off to Arlington, Texas.

There, they will meet the division rival Texas Rangers for a four-game set beginning Monday evening at Rangers Ballpark. Entering the series, the Athletics lead the Rangers by three games in the division. The A’s have won six of their last 10 games, while the Rangers have dropped eight of their last 10 and six straight.

In the first game of the series, a pair of young pitchers whose seasons have been trending in opposite directions will be matched up. Dan Straily takes the mound for the Athletics as he will be making his third start of the season against the Rangers.

Back on May 21 the 25-year-old right-hander out-dueled Yu Darvish as he threw seven shutout innings to pick up his second win of the season. That performance began a five-game stretch during in which Straily has reeled off a 2.20 ERA. On the season, the Athletics are 8-2 in Straily’s starts.

The Rangers, meanwhile, will send Nick Tepesch to the hill. The rookie right-hander has let in 11 runs in his past 12 innings of work and has dropped his past two starts. Tepesch hasn’t recorded a win since May 12 against the Houston Astros.

On Tuesday, Jarrod Parker will be opposed by Darvish. In his last outing against the New York Yankees, Parker’s only blemish in eight innings of work was a two-run home run he surrendered to Robinson Cano. The right-hander didn’t factor into the decision, however, as it would take 18 innings for the Athletics to walk-off against the Yankees.

Darvish has allowed two runs or less in four of his past five starts, but like Tepesch, he hasn’t recorded a win in over a month.

Game three sees the left-hander Tommy Milone opposed by Justin Grimm. Milone will be looking to pick up his seventh win of the season when he takes the mound. Grimm, who has already lost once to the Athletics this season, is 0-2 in his last three starts and has an 11.40 ERA.

A.J. Griffin gets the call for the Athletics in the final game of the set. In his last outing, Griffin was done in by an improbable grand slam off the bat of Henry Blanco. The righty, who will be looking for his first win in June, has allowed 14 home runs in 14 starts (tied for the team high) in 2013.

He will be opposed by Rangers’ right-hander Josh Lindblom, who lost to the Athletics back on May 20. Lindblom has yet to pick up a win in three starts this season, but he has held righties to a .143 batting average.

Karl Buscheck is an Oakland Athletics writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @KarlBuscheck or add him to your network on Google+.

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