Tonight, the Oakland Athletics will begin a four-game series against their division rival Texas Rangers in Arlington, and the A’s can make a serious statement about their AL West aspirations with a strong series.
Oakland heads into the series hot, at 42-29 and three games ahead of Texas for sole possession of first place in the American League West. The A’s hit around the Seattle Mariners and Hisashi Iwakuma on Sunday to the tune of a 10-2 victory that involved home runs from Brandon Moss, Josh Donaldson, Seth Smith and Josh Reddick (who went 4-for-5 on the day).
Bartolo Colon pitched well, picking up a win that brings him to 9-2 on the season.
Texas, meanwhile, comes in limping, having been swept by the Toronto Blue Jays in a four-game series that concluded on Sunday with a 7-2 loss. The Rangers are mired in a six-game losing streak that has brought their won/loss record down to 38-31.
Oakland’s trip through Texas comes at a time that Rangers hitters are really struggling — Texas only managed four runs in the four-game sweep at the hands of the Blue Jays, which is rather uncharacteristic for the Rangers, a team that usually scores runs in bunches.
If the A’s can ride into Texas and win the series, continuing their current high level of play that has matched up solid starting pitching with timely hitting, they can extend their lead in the West even further.
The pitching match ups for the four-game set in Texas:
Monday 6/17: Dan Straily (4-2, 4.45 ERA) vs. Nick Tepesch (3-6, 4.30 ERA) 5:05 PM PST
Tuesday 6/18: Jarrod Parker (5-6, 4.45 ERA) vs. Yu Darvish (7-2, 2.64 ERA) 5:05 PM PST
Weds 6/19: Tommy Milone (6-6, 3.61 ERA) vs. Justin Grimm (5-5, 5.59 ERA) 5:05 PM PST
Thurs 6/20: A.J. Griffin (5-6, 3.93 ERA) vs. Josh Lindblom (0-2, 5.94 ERA) 11:05 AM PST