Major League Baseball News
Athletics shoot for four-game sweep of Rangers
Sep 16, 2007, 14:47 GMT
- The Oakland Athletics try and complete their first-ever four-game sweep over the Texas Rangers this afternoon when the two teams conclude a four-game series at McAfee Coliseum.
Oakland, which was officially eliminated from winning its second straight AL West crown on Saturday with the Los Angeles Angels' win in Chicago, won for the fifth time in its last six tries on Saturday, as Dan Johnson went 3- for-4 with two solo home runs and a two-run single to lead the Athletics to a 7-3 win.
Joe Blanton (14-9) pitched seven-plus strong innings, giving up five hits and three runs with six strikeouts and a walk. Nick Swisher also homered for the A's, while Alan Embree got the last five outs for his 17th save of the season.
Brandon McCarthy (5-10), coming off the disabled list, was on a pitch count, and left after allowing three hits and two runs in three innings. David Murphy finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored for the Rangers, who have dropped five in a row.
Lenny DiNardo gets the call for the A's this afternoon, as he tries to win his first game in five starts. DiNardo lost his third consecutive decision in his most recent start last Sunday against the Texas Rangers, as he allowed seven runs (three earned) and four hits in just 1 2/3 innings to fall to 8-9 on the season, while raising his ERA to 3.87.
DiNardo lost to the Rangers the last time he faced them and is 2-2 in his career against them with a 3.08 ERA in seven games, four of which have been starts.
Texas will pin its hopes on right-hander Vicente Padilla, who is 6-9 with a 5.70 ERA. Padilla, who has struggled with injuries and inconsistency all season, has won his last two starts and his last three decisions after a superb outing against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday. He scattered three hits over six scoreless innings to nail down the win in that one. That effort came one start after beating the Kansas City Royals with six scoreless innings.
Padilla has faced the A's eight times (six starts) and is 3-1 against them with a 4.42 ERA.
These teams have split 18 matchups this season, but the Rangers have lost five of eight in the Bay Area. Oakland swept a four-game set in Arlington from the Rangers from July 21-24, 2005.
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