MLB: Rangers look to pick up steam vs. Athletics

The Texas Rangers and host Oakland Athletics will look for improved performances at the plate on Friday night when the American League West rivals play the second contest of their four-game series.

The Rangers will send right-hander Jon Gray (1-2, 5.14 ERA) to the mound against Athletics left-hander Cole Irvin (2-2, 3.21).

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Gray took the loss after being blitzed for five runs in 2 1/3 innings in his lone appearance vs. Oakland last June, while Irvin is 3-2 with a 3.44 ERA in six career starts against Texas.

The Rangers rode a ninth-inning uprising to a 4-1 win Thursday in the first game of the series. Adolis Garcia drove home pinch-runner Eli White with the lead run, and Nathaniel Lowe followed with a two-run homer to help the Rangers to their second straight win after three consecutive losses.

Matt Bush picked up the win after allowing one hit in one scoreless inning of relief. Joe Barlow worked past a walk in the ninth to earn his eighth save of the year and convert his 16th straight save opportunity dating to last season.

“We got it done in the ninth,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said. “This place is a tough place to score runs, but I loved the at-bats at the end. Adolis has been hitting the ball well lately but hadn’t had a lot to show for it. There’s no one I would rather have up there in the ninth, and he came through for us.”

The Rangers managed just six hits in the win, with Garcia and Kole Calhoun recording two apiece. Texas batters struck out 15 times in the game, three each by Brad Miller and Mitch Garver.

Garcia came through in the clutch for the Rangers on Thursday after being dropped to sixth in the lineup.

“I look forward to those moments and just always kind of do whatever it takes to help the team win,” Garcia said through a translator. “I just happen to be in those moments a lot of the time, and I’m thankful for that.”

Chad Pinder led Oakland with two hits and scored the team’s only run. Sean Murphy and Elvis Andrus each had a double for the Athletics, who have lost eight of their last 12 games.

It was another shaky outing for Oakland’s Lou Trivino, who started the season as the team’s closer but lost the spot after he endured a bout of COVID-19. He’s been hit or miss since and struggled against Texas on Thursday, allowing two runs on two hits to take the loss.

“I haven’t felt horrible all year,” Trivino said. “Honestly, I feel better than I did last year. It’s just that sometimes when it rains, it pours. It’s been very annoying. I can only control what I can control.”

Irvin was saddled with a loss in his last outing despite allowing three runs on eight hits in six innings against the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday. It was Irvin’s first appearance since April 30 because of shoulder tendinitis.

“To get through six, that’s a pretty decent day,” Irvin said afterward. “Just glad to be back, pitching with the team. I felt good overall, and I just gotta keep rolling here.”

–Field Level Media

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