Texas Rangers (35-36) at Oakland Athletics (43-28), 3:40 p.m. (ET)
06/18/2014 7:40 AM
06/18/2014 8:09 AM
(SportsNetwork.com) - Oakland hurler Sonny Gray will try to avoid a third straight losing start on Wednesday afternoon when the Athletics wrap a three- game set with the Texas Rangers.
Gray has lost consecutive outings for the first time in his brief career that began in July of last year. He gave up a season-high five runs over 5 1/3 innings at Baltimore on June 7, then threw a quality start in a 7-0 setback to the New York Yankees on Friday.
The right-hander logged six innings versus the Yankees, giving up three runs on seven hits and one walk while fanning seven. Still, he fell to 6-3 on the year with a 2.93 earned run average.
Gray made his first two career starts against the Rangers back in April, splitting the decisions. The 24-year-old took a loss at home on April 23 after allowing three runs over seven frames of a 3-0 setback, but rebounded five days later to notch a two-hit shutout in Texas.
Right-hander Nick Tepesch gets the call for the Rangers looking to build off a solid outing last time out.
Tepesch carried a two-start losing streak into a start at Seattle on Friday and did not get a decision in his club's 1-0 win despite logging 6 1/3 scoreless frames of two-hit ball.
The 25-year-old sits at 2-2 with a 3.94 ERA on the year and did not face the A's when the clubs met several time in April. However, he has pitched against them three times prior, with one start, and has given up eight runs over eight innings without a decision.
The Rangers fell eight games back of the first-place Athletics in the AL West thanks to last night's 10-6 loss. Oakland's Derek Norris came off the bench to hit a home run and drive in five runs in two plate appearances, while Stephen Vogt went 3-for-3 with two RBI.
Oakland lost Monday's opener 14-8, but has won three of four and leads the second-place Los Angeles Angels by 4 1/2 games in the division standings.
The A's bounced back against Texas ace Yu Darvish, who yielded seven runs -- four earned -- over five-plus innings, while Oakland starter Tommy Milone improved to 5-0 over his last eight starts by giving up three runs over 5 2/3 frames.
"Obviously, it's a great team win," said Vogt. "(Darvish) is such a good pitcher and we've been fortunate enough to have success against him."
Darvish entered the game with an 0-7 record and 5.32 ERA in his last eight starts against the A's.
"I didn't have command of any of my pitches," said Darvish. "For some reason, I don't have good numbers against them."
Rougned Odor had a homer and a triple, knocking in three runs for the Rangers, who had won four of five coming in.
These clubs came into this series having split six meetings, with each team sweeping the other in the opposing ballpark.
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