Athletics

A's bullpen stepping up vs. Rangers good sign for stretch run

Athletics

The Athletics defeated the Texas Rangers, 10-5, on Friday night at the Coliseum, and they looked like a team should heading toward the playoff push. 

The team tallied 16 hits, and the bullpen was sensational. The relievers had been struggling for a while now, so when starter Paul Blackburn was removed in the third inning, A’s fans held their breath. 

When Deolis Guerra replaced him, however, he quieted the Rangers bats, and in 2 1/3 innings, he struck out two walking only one.

Breathe out. 

A’s manager Bob Melvin said Guerra’s performance ultimately stabilized the game.

“Did it pretty economically too, and allowed us to score a few more runs and make it a different game,” Melvin said. “You’re looking for guys that really impacted the game today, I don’t really know more than him.”

Tony Kemp said we don’t talk about Guerra enough. 

“Yeah, let’s talk about him,” Kemp said after the game. “He’s one of my favorite teammates, first of all. He’s just a quiet guy who goes about his business. If you’re ever here, he sweats like all of my body weight, it’s like very impressive, but he’s a hard worker, you always see him, [Yusmeiro] Petit, doing stadiums, running.

"There’s a lot of stuff going on that he does, especially during spring training just trying to make a team. You know, I always say, like when we were in Arizona he came in and threw like four, five scoreless, that was the turning point for his season I feel like.”

 

Kemp says Guerra has been an unsung hero who hasn’t been talked about a lot despite the 160 pounds of sweat he might give up while putting a workout in.

“He comes in and does his job,” Kemp said. “He’s had some tough outings, but for the majority of the time, he’s been one of those guys that we rely on.”

For Guerra, he kept it simple, even with all of his growth.

“I’m just really happy to get every opportunity and take as much as I can to help the team,” Guerra said.

Petit, Lou Trivino and Jake Diekman all had scoreless innings as well, as the A's kept the Rangers from making it close in the late innings.

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“It’s really important,” Guerra said. “Especially for what we’re playing right now. Like I said before, just get that W at the end of the day, that’s what matters.” 

The A’s have won three in a row and still are in the thick of the AL Wild Card race, neck-and-neck with the Seattle Mariners (77-64) and Toronto Blue Jays (77-63). The New York Yankees currently have ahold of the second wild-card spot behind the Boston Red Sox.