Posted May 15, 2013 on AP on Fox
When everything is rolling for the Oakland Athletics, Brandon Moss' line drive with two runners on in the sixth falls perfectly in the gap for a key hit. On Wednesday, Nelson Cruz ran down the ball and snagged it for a spectacular diving catch. The reigning AL West champion A's are in another familiar first-half funk after dropping the series finale to the first-place Texas Rangers 6-2, Oakland's eighth loss in 10 games. "We're not playing well right now and we have to power through this, win some games and get on a roll," manager Bob Melvin said. His A's (20-22) fell two games below .500 for the first time since the second day of the season. Cruz hit a three-run homer in the Rangers' four-run fifth, but he counted his catch to end the sixth with runners on first and second as his highlight of the day. "I had four or five steps before I got to the ball, I thought I had a chance before I dived," Cruz said. "I think the catch in that situation was nice." Melvin, too. "It's huge," Melvin said. "If the ball gets down, it's two runs and it's a different game. If there was one particular play that had a big effect on the game, it was that one." On the heels of a tough 3-7 road trip through New York, Cleveland and Seattle, the A's won the series opener with Texas 5-1 on Monday night, then lost in 10 innings Tuesday. Alexi Ogando (4-2) didn't allow a hit until Eric Sogard's leadoff double in the sixth. The right-hander won his second straight decision and earned only his second victory in seven outings since consecutive wins starting the season. It was Ogando's first career win against Oakland. Cruz greeted reliever Jesse Chavez in the fifth with a first-pitch drive to left for his 10th homer. His defense helped secure Texas' latest impressive win. "Cruz made an awesome catch," said Oakland catcher John Jaso, who left after being hit by a pitch on the right shin in the fourth. "That's the break of the game right there. It's a totally different game if he doesn't make that catch." Lance Berkman hit a two-run single and Adrian Beltre added an RBI single a day after hitting a 10th-inning home run. Elvis Andrus stole his ninth and 10th bases as the Rangers won their first series in Oakland since Sept. 20-22, 2011. Derek Norris hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth for Oakland's first run. Coco Crisp, fresh off the disabled list, added one of his own in the seventh. Last Oct. 3, Ogando entered in relief of the Rangers' 12-5 loss in Game No. 162 and was tagged for four runs in the eighth inning as the A's rallied to grab the AL West crown away from the Rangers. Now, with the AL West-leading Rangers on a nice roll in mid-May, Ogando's first road win in his last six outings gave Texas some momentum heading home for a key four-game series with the Tigers starting Thursday. The right-hander allowed two runs on four hits in six innings in his majors-leading seventh road start, his second ever against the A's and first in the Coliseum. The Rangers wrapped up a 6-3 trip, and these clubs meet again for three games beginning Monday in Arlington. "We wanted to come here and play good baseball and we're fortunate we did," manager Ron Washington said. The A's loaded the bases with one out against Rangers reliever Michael Kirkman in the seventh, but got only Crisp's sacrifice fly. Oakland starter Dan Straily (1-2) had his problems, too. He plunked Ian Kinsler and Andrus back to back to load the bases with two outs in the third, then Berkman's single up the middle gave the Rangers the lead. Straily avoided further damage in the fourth. After consecutive one-out walks to Mitch Moreland and David Murphy, and a wild pitch that advanced them both, Straily got a pair of flyball outs to escape unscathed. He walked four and struck out two in 4 1-3 innings of his second straight losing start and fourth consecutive winless outing. "I was missing spots. At least I missed down and not over the plate," Straily said. "It's not being consistent whatsoever. That's what hurts the team and hurts me. I have to pitch how I am capable of pitching." Crisp returned from a strained left hamstring and went 0 for 3 in his usual leadoff spot and playing center field. Notes A's LHP Brett Anderson experienced further soreness in his sprained right ankle after going through pitcher's fielding practice Tuesday. "Brett won't pitch tomorrow and maybe not in the foreseeable future here," Melvin said. "We're just not past the soreness that he's getting." ... After getting a break Wednesday, Oakland OF Chris Young (strained left quadriceps) is scheduled to play one more rehab outing Thursday with Triple-A Sacramento with the hope he will be activated from the DL on Friday ahead of a home weekend series against the Kansas City Royals. ... Melvin will spend Thursday's off day next door at Oracle Arena cheering on the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals against San Antonio.

Rangers righty Ogando placed on DL

Texas Rangers right-hander Alexi Ogando has been placed on the 15-day disabled list because of tendinitis in his right biceps. The move Thursday came a day after Ogando (4-2, 3.08 ERA) allowed two runs over six innings in a victory at Oakland, in his ninth start of the season. Texas recalled right-hander Cory Burns from Triple-A Round Rock, where he has spent all season. Burns...

Rangers dealing with another pitching injury

ARLINGTON, Texas The Texas Rangers have the best record in the American League despite dealing with a host of pitching injuries. They added to that Thursday but putting right-handed starter Alexi Ogando on the 15-day disabled list with right biceps tendinitis. The club called up right-handed reliever Cory Burns from Round Rock to take Ogandos roster spot. The club will make another...

Cruz’ home run, catch help Rangers to victory

Admittedly, I’ve been worried about Nelson Cruz this season.  Some of that worry was for his bat, but most of it was for his glove.   Today, he presented strong evidence that I need not worry about him just yet. In the afternoon finale of the Oakland series, Cruz made a spectacular catch and hit a three-run home run.  Cruz’ heroics helped Alexi Ogando secure his fourth win...

Rangers make most of flight delay because of storms

ARLINGTON, Texas The Texas Rangers arent fans of Albuquerque. Thats where the team had to spend a couple of unscheduled hours Wednesday after their flight from California to Texas had to be diverted because of the storms in the Metroplex. The plane had to turn around and head back to New Mexico because of the weather and the team didnt get to Love Field until about 1:30 Thursday...

Adrian Beltre does not like to be touched on his head

Adrian Beltre smacked a 10th inning home for the Texas Rangers against the Oakland A’s on Tuesday night. After returning to the dugout, Beltre was greeted with pats on the head by teammates, something he apparently despises. Here are a few more Beltre head rub GIFs courtesy of bosoxgifs. [Reddit]

Cruz hits 3-run homer to lead Rangers past A's

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Nelson Cruz hit a three-run homer, Alexi Ogando earned his first career win against Oakland and the Texas Rangers took the rubber game with the Athletics 6-2 on Wednesday. Ogando (4-2) didn't allow a hit until Eric Sogard's leadoff double in the sixth. The right-hander won his second straight decision and earned only his second victory in seven outings...

GIF of Ian Kinsler eating dirt and then some sliding into third base

Ian Kinsler went from first to third on an Elvis Andrus single Thursday night against the Tigers and he certainly got his money’s worth.  One has to admire Kinsler’s hustle.  And pigs have to admire Kinsler’s desire to play in the dirt.  The Russian judge gave him a 7.5. via @DShep25

Steve Carlton takes a shot at Nolan Ryan

Hall of Famer and former Philadelphia Phillies pithcer Steve Carlton was one of the most dominant pitchers of his era, and of all-time. He captured 4 Cy Young awards, while winning 329 games over 24 MLB seasons. Carlton also retired only second to Nolan Ryan in career strikeouts, and now stands fourth all-time on that list. Ryan finished his career with 5 fewer wins in three addtional...

FOX has fun with Ogando no hit bid

FOX Sports Southwest had some fun today with the Texas Rangers, Oakland Athletics and baseball superstitions. Texas starting pitcher Alexi Ogando was a pitching a gem and carried a no hit bid into the sixth inning. During the sixth inning FOX posted the line score and game highlights. For Ogando they put “One of those things you don’t talk about”. Obviously having fun with...

Rangers beat A's on 2 homers in 10th inning

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Adrian Beltre hit a tiebreaking home run in the 10th inning, Mitch Moreland followed with his second of the game and the Texas Rangers held off the Oakland Athletics 6-5 Tuesday night. Joe Nathan gave up a run in the bottom of the 10th but escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam to snap Texas' four-game losing streak to Oakland. Beltre sent a 3-0 pitch...

Rangers Minor League Roundup – 5/14

Although the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders fell on Tuesday afternoon, first baseman Brett Nicholas clubbed his 10th home run of the season––and his third in three games. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers' system.

Yu Darvish, Defining “Change of Pace”

So, Yu Darvish is off to a pretty good start to 2013. Through eight starts this season, the Ranger’s right-hander currently sports the following statistics: GS K% BB% HR/FB ERA- FIP- SwgStr% 8 39.0% 8.8% 13.9% 62 56 15.7% Darvish currently ranks first (or tied for first) among qualified starters in K% and SwgStr%, and he has posted the 6th best adjusted FIP in the league...

Adrian Beltre Responds to People Touching His Head

Hi, Adrian Beltre here. Yes, that Adrian Beltre. And yeah, I get it, you all think it's pretty hilarious when people try to touch my head and I freak out. I mean, I'm a modern man of the internet, I've seen the gifs and even I have a laugh. Just look at some of these moving pictures, how could you not chuckle:    (Gif via @DShep25)   But see, I...

Rangers rock Verlander

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- The Texas Rangers have knocked out Detroit ace Justin Verlander with a seven-run third inning as an anticipated pitching duel with Yu Darvish fizzled. Verlander gave up eight runs in just 2 2-3 innings Thursday night, capped by a three-run homer from Geovany Soto, who was hitting .170 without a long ball. The hard-throwing right-hander had allowed four...

Tigers-Rangers Preview

Justin Verlander says it's May. Yu Darvish says it's not the first great opposing pitcher he's faced, and won't be his last. True on all counts. These showdowns don't come along every day, though. And this one - the AL's strikeout king against his potential heir - is an enticing as they come. The hard-throwing right-handers from Detroit and Texas will meet...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.