MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Texas1 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 2 770
Oakland0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 031
  W: A. Griffin (2-0)   L: J. Cotton (1-2)
7:05 PM PT8:05 PM MT9:05 PM CT10:05 PM ET22:05 ET2:05 GMT10:05 7:05 PM MST9:05 PM EST9:35 PM VEN6:05 UAE (+1)9:05 PM CT, April 17, 2017
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, California  Attendance: 10,406

Dueling skids on line as Rangers visit A's

According to STATS
According to STATS

Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics

  1. These teams are meeting for the second time this season after the Rangers took two of three games in Arlington. Texas owns a 23-15 (.605) record in Oakland over the last four years.
  2. Texas was swept over the weekend in Seattle, including an 8-7 loss Sunday after leading 6-1. It was the second time in six days the Rangers have lost after holding a five-run lead (April 11 at the Angels). The Rangers only had two such losses in all of 2016 (which happened to also be over a six-day span in June).
  3. Oakland's game Sunday was postponed, so its active three-game losing streak endures. The Athletics allowed 17 runs in two games against the Astros after allowing just six runs in three games against the Royals.
  4. Khris Davis homered in the first series between these teams this year, his 11th home run against Texas since joining the A's last season. That is tied for the most home runs by a player against any single opponent since the beginning of last season (Brian Dozier has 11 homers against the Royals).
  5. This is Jharel Cotton's second career start against Texas after earning a win by allowing just one run over seven innings last September. Cotton has allowed one or zero earned runs in five of his seven career starts.
  6. A.J. Griffin is making just his second career start against his former team (the other was earlier this month). The Rangers have won each of his last five starts at Globe Life Park dating back to last August.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 4/17/2017 thru 4/19/2017

OAKLAND -- Fans know the operative term when teams start poorly, to wit, "It's early."

Literally yes, only two weeks into a major league season that extends six months. Still, early or late, the Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers, who on Monday night begin a three-game series at the Oakland Coliseum, are going in the wrong direction.

Both lost their past three games, the A's dropping one at Kansas City and then two in a row to Houston at home before getting rained out Sunday. The Rangers, meanwhile, were swept in Seattle and thus replaced the Mariners at the bottom of American League West.

A.J. Griffin is the scheduled Monday starter for Texas, pitching against the team, Oakland, with which he originally signed and first played. The A's then dropped him after he recovered in 2015 from 2014 Tommy John surgery.

His last outing against the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday was the Rangers' most recent win. The six-inning, three-run outing was solid for Griffin, who on April 8 scraped the back of his pitching hand sliding to pick up a ground ball -- against the Athletics. In that April 7 contest, Griffin (1-0, 6.75 ERA) allowed four runs in 3 1/3 innings.

Opposing Griffin will be rookie Jharel Cotton, who went seven innings in Oakland's 2-0 win over Kansas City on April 10. It was a performance that had Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez, now a commentator, gushing to a reporter from the San Jose Mercury News.

"Jharel Cotton," tweeted Martinez, "reminds me of myself. Nasty changeup, nice cutter, same arm angle and rotation. Same grip I used to have."

Cotton, like Martinez, is 5-foot-11.

In that game, Cotton (1-1, 3.97 ERA) used his fastball the first time through the Royals lineup, then employed the changeup.

"I saved my weapon for last," Cotton said, "kept it in my pocket, and when I really needed it, used it."

The A's very much need it again. Their bullpen was battered by the Astros, who won the first two games of the scheduled weekend three-game series, 7-2 and 10-6. The Sunday game that was postponed was rescheduled for September.

Cotton's lone outing against Texas came last Sept. 25, when he pitched seven innings of one-run ball for a 7-1 win. The April 7 contest marked Griffin's first career outing vs. Oakland.

Griffin wasn't terribly sharp against an Angels team that hit three home runs, but he was effective. He had to work his way into the rotation during spring training. He did the same thing in 2016 and wound up making 23 starts, going 7-4 with a 5.07 ERA.

"I've always been a competitive person," Griffin said last month after the Rangers broke camp. "You're never going to be given anything in this life. You've got to go out and get it for yourself."

What both the Rangers and Athletics need to get is a few wins in succession. One thing is certain in the opener of this series -- a three-game losing streak will end.

Updated April 17, 2017

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