Monday newsletter time: Rangers avoid sweep, but missed opportunity against struggling A’s
(AP photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)
The good news Sunday for the Rangers is that they were able to avoid a sweep at Oakland Coliseum.
The bad news is that they needed a win to avoid sweep to one of the worst teams in baseball.
The 11-8 win in the series finale was a good one, with Martin Perez pitching well and the offense beating All-Star right-hander Paul Blackburn like one of those drums in right field.
The Rangers were up 11-1 after seven innings before the A’s knocked Garrett Richards around in the eighth and hit back-to-back-to-back homers in the ninth against Brett Martin.
For a team clinging to slim postseason hopes, the late bullpen performance and losing 2 of 3 to the A’s don’t bode well.
Next up is a series at Seattle. The Mariners swept four from the Rangers before the All-Star break to push their winning streak to 14 games, but Houston just swept them over three games at T Mobile Park.
The Rangers will have Glenn Otto in the opener, Dane Dunning coming off the injured list Tuesday and Jon Gray on Wednesday. Gray might have to play the roll of stopper as Perez did Sunday.
The left-hander, coming off his first All-Star Game, allowed one run in seven innings. Adolis Garcia went 4 for 4 with a two-run homer, Jonah Heim matched the club record with three doubles, and Leody Taveras also had three hits.
Corey Seager started the Rangers’ six-run fifth inning with his first homer since the All-Star break, and was one of eight players to drive in a run.
The A’s prolonged the inevitable with the late rally. Josh Smith made a terrific catch on a flare down the left-field line to end the eighth inning and prevent more damage.
But Oakland did enough damage in the first two games in a series the Rangers needed to win.
The week ahead
The deadline to sign draftees is Aug. 1 and the trade deadline is Aug. 2. Expect a lot of news and rumors this week.
The Rangers have reached agreements, pending physicals, with their first two selections, Kumar Rocker and Brock Porter. The only other reported signing is 11th-rounder Kohl Drake, a lefty from Walter State Community College, for $175,000.
The timing of the Rocker and Porter deals becoming official will be interesting. The Rangers are out of town all week, and so are the beat writers at one point or another. Would the Rangers wait until coming home, Aug. 1, to make the deals officials, hold proper press conferences and allow the players to be introduced in front of the home fans at Globe Life Field?
The big fish on the trade market is Washington outfielder Juan Soto, and the Rangers have the prospects and money to make a trade. They are sure to be linked to him. The Nationals had a scout at the Rangers’ Arizona Complex League game Friday watching right-hander Dane Acker.
The Rangers are in a position to both buy and sell. They want controllable players who can help beyond next season, and Reds righty Luis Castillo fits that mold. The Rangers could ship off outfielder Kole Calhoun, lefty reliever Matt Moore and the right-handed Richards, who are on expiring contracts.
The way Richards has pitched of late, though, I’m not so sure the phone is going to be ringing much on him.
But expect the Rangers to do something. Expect them to be linked to all kinds of rumors.
For anyone wondering, it’s hot in Arizona this time of year. But the air conditioning and water at the Surprise Recreation Campus are both cold, and both are consumed in droves. When my flight landed around 9 p.m. Thursday, it was 106 degrees. Friday topped out at 112, which was four degrees below the initial forecast. The trip capped a busy week, which included around 23 hours in Miami. I never saw the ocean. Oh well. If you were equally busy, here’s our latest in case you missed it.
The Sunday Read: Josh Jung getting close
Friday on the Farm: Top 10 post-draft Rangers pitching prospects
Rangers notes: Martin Perez and extension questions
Rangers Today Baseball Podcast: Talking draft with Kip Fagg
Better safe than sorry. Enjoy. See you Tuesday.
Clever Boye…. pic.twitter.com/loizLCh7bS
— Heckin Good Dogs (@HeckinGoodDogs) July 24, 2022
Jeff Wilson, email@example.com