Athletics Can't Complete Rally Against Rangers

The Oakland Athletics

The Oakland Athletics have gradually improved their team since entering a rebuilding phase before the 2015 season, and there is no reason to think the trend will stop this year. While they will likely not contend for a spot in the playoffs, the Athletics certainly have the potential to win 80 games this season. That would be a five-win jump from last year. Oakland's first home stand of the season did not go as planned, but they still had a chance to split the eight games when they faced the Texas Rangers on Thursday, April 5.

Daniel Mengden was one of the few bright spots for the Athletics last year, but he has struggled early in his first two starts in 2018. Mengden was undone by one bad inning on Thursday. The Rangers were able to grab a big lead after scoring four runs in the second inning. Roughned Odor and Drew Robinson each drove in one run with RBI singles. The other two runs scored on an ugly throwing error by Mengden. While he had one horrible inning, the Oakland starter kept his team in the game by preventing the Rangers from scoring again.

The Oakland offense had no problem getting hits off the Texas starter Martin Perez, but they still had a hard time putting runs on the scoreboard. Their 10 hits off of Perez only translated to three runs. A Jed Lowrie double in the third inning scored Oakland's first run of the game. They added another run in the third with on a sacrifice fly by Khris Davis. The Athletics got within one run after a sacrifice fly by Matt Joyce in the sixth inning.

The bullpens for both clubs did a great job after taking over for the starting pitchers. The game was still 4-3 entering the ninth inning. Oakland's chances of a comeback were completely ruined in the final inning. Shin-Soo Choo extended Texas' lead to three runs with a home run off of Chris Hatcher. After failing to get a hit off Keone Kela, the Athletics lost 6-3 to the Rangers.

The Oakland Athletics are certainly disappointed after only winning three of their first eight games at home, but there is plenty of time left in the season to improve. The club's first road trip will begin on Friday, April 6, when they travel to Southern California to play the Anaheim Angels.


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