Instant Analysis: A's take Game 1 from Rangers in final series of 2017
A's get past Rangers in Arlington
ARLINGTON, Texas — Globe Life Park isn’t always a fun place for the A’s, who have suffered lots of late-inning heartache in the Rangers’ home park over the years.
It’s a different vibe right now, as the A’s continued their recent mastery of Texas with a 4-1 victory to open this season-ending four-game series. That’s seven consecutive wins for Oakland over Texas, their longest against the Rangers since a seven-gamer way back in 2005.
Matt Chapman homered and drove in two runs and lefty Sean Manaea was excellent in his final start of 2017, giving up just three hits and one unearned run in 6 2/3 innings. Ryon Healy added a two-run single that broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth.
Things got a bit dicey in the ninth when Blake Treinen put the first two runners aboard. But he closed it out and the A’s pocketed their 16th win in their past 21 games. They’re one-quarter of the way to the series sweep they will need to avoid finishing in last place.
The A’s had lost their previous four in Arlington.
A pick-me-up for rookie
It’s been a wobbly stretch to the finish line for Chapman, who entered Thursday hitting just .143 (7-for-49) over his past 15 games. But he connected on an 0-1 pitch from Miguel Gonzalez in the fifth and sent it over the wall in center for his 14th homer. In the ninth, he singled home another run to tack on an insurance run for Oakland.
Lingering effects from a concussion will keep Chad Pinder out of this season-ending series. But there’s little doubt he’ll play an instrumental role in 2018. It’s just a matter of where. Pinder has spent significant time at shortstop, but he’s also seen significant time at second base and right field, where he’s opened the A’s eyes with his athleticism and strong arm.
“The versatility gives him a lot of different ways to get in the lineup,” Melvin said. “Having said that, we really like him in the outfield. And depending on what our infield dynamic looks like next year, he could be just an outfielder, or he could move back and forth.”
Pinder suffered his concussion while slamming into the center field wall Friday. It’s his third one. He also suffered one playing in college and another in 2015 while with Double-A Midland.
It's a different world here
As the A’s embark on a challenging five-year plan to build a new ballpark in Oakland, the Rangers broke ground Thursday on their own new digs in Arlington.
Globe Life Field is scheduled to open in 2020, and the Rangers have only been playing in their current venue, Globe Life Park, since 1994.
The A’s hope to open their downtown Oakland ballpark in 2023. They’ve been playing at the Coliseum since 1968.