American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, September 3rd
(All times Eastern)
Texas Rangers (79-58) at Oakland Athletics (79-58), 10:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Texas - Martin Perez (8-3,
Oakland - Bartolo Colon (14-5, 2.94)
(Sports Network) - First place in the American League West will be on the line
Tuesday when the Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics continue a critical
three-game series at O.co Coliseum.
Oakland won for the seventh time in eight tries and moved into a tie with the
Rangers atop the division on Monday, as Coco Crisp belted a go-ahead, two-run
homer in the fifth inning and Yoenis Cespedes added a solo blast in a 4-2 win.
Grant Balfour put the tying run on second base in the ninth but escaped with
his 36th save after getting Ian Kinsler on a fly out to right and Adrian
Beltre on a groundout to third.
"I'm enjoying the (pennant) race...as long as we finish on top," Balfour said.
Four Oakland relievers combined for four scoreless innings after Dan Straily
(8-7) allowed two runs on three hits and three walks in the first five frames.
Texas, which had been in sole possession of first place since Aug. 10, has
dropped three of four and couldn't get much going offensively outside of David
Murphy's two-run homer. The club went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position
and left 11 on base.
"We gave ourselves opportunities...we just didn't take advantage," Rangers
manager Ron Washington said.
Derek Holland (9-7) was touched for four runs -- three earned -- on five hits
and five walks in just 4 2/3 innings. It was the first time since June 6 the
left-hander failed to work through the sixth -- a span of 14 starts.
Hits may be hard to come by again on Tuesday, as the Rangers go up against
hefty right-hander Bartolo Colon, who is 14-5 with a 2.94 ERA. Colon pitched
for the first time in over two weeks on Thursday in Detroit and looked good,
as he allowed one run in five innings. However, he did not get a decision in
his team's 7-6 loss.
Colon beat the Rangers the last time he faced them and is 19-7 lifetime
against them with a 3.65 ERA in 31 starts.
Texas, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Martin Perez, who has won his last
five starts. Perez was again on the mark Wednesday in Seattle, as he
surrendered two runs and five hits in six innings to run his record to 8-3 to
go along with a 3.58 ERA.
"He just goes out there and does what he does," Washington said. "That's throw
the fastball down in the zone, change speeds and use his breaking ball and
move it around."
Oakland gave Perez fits last year, though, as he was 1-2 in three starts
against the club with a 9.90 ERA.
Texas has won eight of 14 from the A's this season.
09/03 10:35:24 ET