OAKLAND – The A’s looked like they could have used another rainout Monday.
Their performance in a 7-0 loss to the Texas Rangers matched the listless environment inside the Coliseum, as they mustered just three hits and made Rangers starter A.J. Griffin look like a Cy Young candidate.
Jharel Cotton struggled over 5 1/3 innings on the mound, and Oakland advanced just one runner as far as third base. Griffin (2-0), the former Athletic who had allowed seven runs over 9 1/3 innings entering the night, limited the A’s to one hit over six innings. He struck out eight, including five in a row bridging the second and third.
After Sunday’s game against Houston got washed out and rain throughout Monday afternoon threatened this game, the A’s uninspired effort wasn’t entirely out of place before a crowd that looked to the naked eye to be less than 5,000.
The A’s have lost four in a row, and coupled with a heavy dose of bad injury news lately, it’s put a damper on the early stages of their season.
Starting pitching report:
Coming off seven dazzling innings against Kansas City, Jharel Cotton wasn’t nearly as dialed in Monday night. He couldn’t be faulted heavily for a first-inning run, as an infield single and a bloop RBI double by Nomar Mazara did damage against him. But Cotton (1-2) walked four — one intentionally after he fell behind in the count 3-0 — and the Rangers made him pay for those free passses. Carlos Gomez and Mike Napoli each victimized him for two-run doubles in the fifth inning. Cotton’s original start was rained out Sunday. Perhaps that threw the rookie off a bit, perhaps not. But over 5 1/3 innings he was charged with five earned runs, tied for the most he’s allowed over his eight career big league starts.
Frankie Montas gave the A’s two scoreless innings of relief to at least provide one highlight.
At the plate:
Griffin had the A’s perplexed, and he showed you don’t have to blow up the radar gun to be effective. Playing off his curve that sometimes registers in the 60’s, he struck out three straight hitters looking on fastballs that didn’t crack 90. The A’s only threat came in the eighth, when they put runners on second and third. But pinch hitter Jaff Decker grounded out to short and the A’s wound up with their second shutout loss of the season.
In the field:
On Gomez’s two-run double, Rajai Davis’ throw from deep center somehow got by both Adam Rosales and Jed Lowrie, the ball rolling across the infield as Gomez took an extra base. That kind of sloppiness is not a good look, and it accounted for the 10th consecutive game in which the A’s have committed at least one error.
The announced crowd was 10,406. About 8,000 of them must have spent the entire game out by the food trucks.
Andrew Triggs (2-0, 0.00) takes the hill opposed by Yu Darvish (1-1, 2.33), who brings a career 5.72 ERA at the Coliseum over five starts. First pitch is 7:05 p.m.