Athletics aim to begin new streak in series opener vs. Rangers

May 6, 2024, 7:31 AM | Updated: 7:32 am

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - MAY 04: Brett Harris #77 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates with teammates a...

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

One of baseball’s hottest teams takes aim at the defending champions when the Oakland Athletics open a four-game series against the visiting Texas Rangers on Monday night.

Surprisingly, the A’s and Rangers are separated by just two games almost one quarter into the season as both chase the Seattle Mariners in the American League West.

The teams met earlier in the season in Texas, with the A’s making their first statement of the year by taking two of three. Both wins were one-run games.

The A’s reached .500 for the first time this season via a 20-4 shellacking of the visiting Miami Marlins on Saturday. They find themselves a win away from the break-even mark following a 12-3 loss to the Marlins on Sunday.

More on Athletics vs. Rangers

“Out of spring training … we needed to have higher expectations of ourselves,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said of his club universally being projected as a 100-loss team again this season. “.500’s lofty. It is. But you’re seeing a group that has some confidence right now.”

Left-hander Alex Wood (1-2, 6.32 ERA) started the first of Oakland’s two wins over the Rangers, limiting the hosts to two runs in four innings in what turned into a 4-3 win on April 9. He did not get a decision, leaving him at 2-0 with a 2.88 ERA in six career outings (five starts) against Texas.

Oakland’s loss Sunday snapped a six-game winning streak that included the first five games of their current 10-game homestand. Wood threw the second of those games, a 5-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday in which he allowed two runs in four innings.

The 33-year-old will see a longtime rival this time around in Rangers lefty Andrew Heaney (0-4, 5.10), who will turn 33 next month.

They were selected one round apart in 2012. Heaney was chosen as the ninth pick of the first round out of Oklahoma State, while Wood got snatched up with the 85th overall selection of the second round out of Georgia.

Both former Los Angeles Dodgers, they’ve gone head-to-head as starters three times previously. Heaney has gone 2-0 in those games.

Heaney has received hard luck in his past four starts, going 0-2 despite allowing just 10 runs in 21 2/3 innings. The Rangers have scored a total of just eight runs in those games, including none in a 1-0 shutout in Heaney’s last start, in which he allowed just one run in seven innings to the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.

The 11-year veteran has faced the A’s 12 times in his career, 11 times as a starter, going 4-4 with a 3.82 ERA.

The Rangers will begin the series riding a two-game win streak, having rallied into a ninth-inning tie before pulling out a 3-2 victory in 10 innings over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday. Nathaniel Lowe had an RBI single in the 10th inning for Texas.

“There is never any panic with our offense,” said Jonah Heim, who belted a tying homer in the ninth inning. “Everyone is out there just putting together good at-bats, taking walks, hitting balls hard and good things will happen for us.”

–Field Level Media

Upcoming schedule for the Oakland Athletics

  • Monday, May 6th-Wednesday, May 8th – vs. Texas Rangers
  • Friday, May 10th-Sunday, May 12th – @ Seattle Mariners
  • Monday, May 13th-Thursday, May 16th – @ Houston Astros
  • Friday, May 17th-Sunday, May 19th – @ Kansas City Royals
  • Tuesday, May 21st-Thursday, May 23rd – vs. Colorado Rockies

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