ARLINGTON, Texas – The lopsided final score Sunday at Globe Life Park didn’t tell the story of the opportunities the A’s let get away.
They finished 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 runners in an 8-1 loss to the Rangers in the rubber match of a three-game series.
The A’s outhit the Rangers 8-7, but that was offset by the career-high five RBI from Texas third baseman Joey Gallo, a shaky relief outing from A’s rookie Frankie Montas and other miscues that added up to cost Oakland in its first road series of the season.
Sean Manaea gave up a three-run homer to Gallo in the second, but the left-hander struck out a career-high 10 batters over 5 1/3 innings. Manager Bob Melvin pulled the lefty with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth, Texas up 3-0, and called on Montas in a tough jam.
Montas fell behind 3-0 to Robinson Chirinos and wound up walking him to force in a run. Gallo followed with a two-run single to right that broke the game open and put the Rangers up 6-0.
Starting pitching report:
What a pitching line it was for Manaea — 5 1/3 IP, 3 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 10 K’s over 86 pitches. After allowing Gallo’s homer in the second, Manaea nearly let the wheels come off in the third with a hit batter, a walk, a wild pitch and his own throwing error on a pickoff that put runners on second and third with no outs. But Manaea came back to strike out three in a row and keep Texas off the board that inning. He was only at 86 pitches when Melvin came with the hook, but the lefty had hit Nomar Mazara in the helmet and walked a batter in the inning leading up to the switch.
Montas, who threw 2 2/3 scoreless innings in his season debut Wednesday, entered with no margin for error in the sixth. The walk to Chirinos and two-run single from Gallo, who’s filling in for the injured Adrian Beltre, gave Texas some breathing room. Chorinos did more damage in the eighth with a two-run homer off Daniel Coulombe.
At the plate:
Marcus Semien drew his second consecutive start in the leadoff spot, not surprising given he looked good Saturday night against Yu Darvish. Rajai Davis batted second to give the A’s a nice speed combo atop the lineup. But runners on base brought out the worst in the A’s at-bats. Davis struck out with runners on the corners to end the top of the third. The A’s biggest opportunity to jump back in it came in the fifth, when they loaded the bases with 1 out and their 3-4 hitters due up. But Ryon Healy popped up and Khris Davis took a called third strike to thwart that rally. Two more runners were left in scoring position the next inning when Josh Phegley chased strike three and pinch hitter Matt Joyce flied out to right.
The A’s only run came courtesy of a wild pitch that brought home Khris Davis in the eighth.
In the field:
It was a tough day defensively for Healy, who drew the start at first base because the Rangers started lefty Martin Perez on the mound. Healy let Rougned Odor’s sharp grounder get past him for an error that helped facilitate the Rangers’ three-run sixth. In an eighth inning that dragged on forever, Healy couldn’t come up with a short-hop throw from Semien that correctly was scored an E-6 but probably should have been scooped.
The turnout was 36,905.
It’s the rare Monday matinee for the A’s, as they play Kansas City in the Royals’ home opener at 1:15 p.m. Jharel Cotton (0-1, 10.68) takes the hill opposed by Ian Kennedy (0-1, 5.40). After a day off Tuesday, Andrew Triggs (1-0, 0.00) matches up against former Athletic Jason Hammel (0-0, 5.40) in Wednesday’s 5:15 p.m. game. Then the road trip finale pits Jesse Hahn (0-0, 3.00) against lefty Jason Vargas (1-0, 1.50) Thursday at 5:15 p.m.