Texas Rangers Fall in Pivotal AL West Showdown
YU-G-L-Y, The Rangers had no alibi in 11-4 loss to Oakland
The Texas Rangers held a one game lead in the divisional race and sent their ace pitcher, Yu Darvish, to the mound on Wednesday afternoon. All signs pointed to a strong showing by Texas, but after a Darvish meltdown and a homerun-a-palooza by Oakland, the Athletics evened the race in the AL West and sent the Rangers reeling.
Yu Darvish (12-7) never had control of the baseball in this game. His short, 5-inning afternoon started by allowing 2 walks and a 2-run homer to Brandon Moss in the bottom of the first inning. The troubles for Yu continued as he issued 6 walks (a career high) in just five innings of work. Prior to this contest, Darvish had not allowed more than 4 walks in any start for the entire season. Darvish's final stat line was one of his worst in his MLB career - 5 earned runs on 5 hits with 6 walks and 2 HRs, while only striking out 4 batters - in only 5 innings.
When asked about Darvish's awful performance, Texas manager Ron Washington said, "It wasn't a good day is all."
The Oakland batters did their part and belted 4 homers for a total of 9 runs in the game. The Athletics' win places them in a tie with the Rangers in the race for the AL West title. Both teams have records of 80-59 with 3 remaining head-to-head battles left in the season. Those contests will take place in Texas on September 13-15.
Also of note, the Rangers allowed 11 runs snapping their record of 31 straight games of allowing 5 runs or fewer, which is tied for the 3rd longest single-season streak in MLB's Divisional Era, which dates back to 1969.
Next up for the Rangers is a 3-game series against the LA Angels that begins Friday at Angel Stadium at Anaheim.
Complete box score (courtesy of ESPN)