A’s tumble into second place after lopsided loss in Texas

An explosive evening at the plate and strong pitching propelled the Texas Rangers to a 8-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Friday night.

The A’s have lost their last three games, falling to 44-30 on the season and into second place behind the Houston Astros in the AL West. It’s just the third time this season that Oakland has lost three consecutive games since they dropped six straight to open the regular season.

An ultra-aggressive approach benefited the Rangers in the first inning against A’s hard-throwing righty Frankie Montas, who entered play on Monday night having surrendered three or fewer earned runs in nine of his last 10 outings.

After retiring the first batter he faced, Montas surrendered a single to Rangers’ third baseman Brock Holt, an RBI double to Adolis Garcia, a walk to Joey Gallo, a double to Nate Lowe and a towering three-run home to rookie Andy Ibanez, the first longball of his career.

As if they’d been punched in the mouth and dazed, it took the A’s several innings to find their footing. After going hitless in the first four frames, they scored a run in the fifth on a solo homer from catcher Sean Murphy, a run in the sixth after back-to-back doubles from Matt Olson and Ramon Laureano, and a run in the seventh thanks to a throwing error by Rangers’ catcher Jose Trevino that scored Tony Kemp.

The A’s had several opportunities to score even more. Despite collecting no hits, they drew three walks in the first four innings against Rangers’ ace Kyle Gibson, tied for the most against him this season. In the sixth, Oakland loaded the bases and brought what was then the go-ahead run to the plate, only to end the inning on a pop out. In total, the A’s left nine runners on base.

In the next half inning, Trevino smashed a three-run home run off Montas to cement the Rangers’ victory.

The A’s will have a chance to get back on track at 5:05 p.m. on Tuesday evening against the Rangers. Lefty Cole Irvin is expected to start for the A’s with righty Jordan Lyles expected to oppose him.

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Author: Jacob Rudner