Athletics look to keep rolling vs. Rangers

National Sports

The Oakland Athletics are on a roll, and they have the Texas Rangers partially to thank for their current surge.

Aiming for an eighth consecutive victory, the A’s also look to continue their recent success over the Rangers on Friday night in Arlington, Texas.

Chasing the first-place Houston Astros in the American League West, Oakland has won at least seven straight three times this season, including a 13-game winning streak from April 9-24. The current run of seven in a row featured a three-game home sweep of Texas last weekend.

The A’s, who own a 54-17 run advantage over the past seven contests, have won five in a row over Texas. They arrive in Arlington after completing a three-game sweep at Cleveland on Thursday with a 17-0 rout of the Indians. It was Oakland’s 11th victory in the past 13 games.

“We just don’t let each other get tired,” said Oakland All-Star right-hander Chris Bassitt, who earned his 12th victory of the season Thursday. “The dog days of August aren’t really a thing here.”

Starling Marte had two hits and three RBIs on Thursday and is batting .415 with nine RBIs in 12 games since coming over from the Miami Marlins. He went 8-for-15 with a homer and five RBIs against the Rangers last weekend.

Marte joins Josh Harrison, Yan Gomes and reliever Andrew Chafin as contributors who have come to Oakland via trades in the past month. Harrison, who went 5-for-9 in the Athletics’ last two contests vs. Texas last weekend, is day-to-day with a strained quad.

“We’ve got the right pieces and feel pretty good about where we’re at,” said Oakland’s scheduled Friday starter, Cole Irvin, according to MLB.com.

Irvin (8-10, 3.45 ERA) has allowed three runs and nine hits while striking out 10 over 13 1/3 innings of his past two starts. On Saturday, he yielded a two-run homer to All-Star Adolis Garcia and three other hits in seven innings of a 12-3 rout of the Rangers.

Though the left-hander fared well against the Rangers last weekend, he has allowed six earned runs and 10 hits over 10 innings while splitting two 2021 starts at Texas. The Rangers’ Charlie Culberson is 4-for-7 with a double against Irvin this season.

Culberson homered Thursday in the Rangers’ 3-1 loss at Seattle. That was one of just two hits recorded by Texas, which has batted .172 and struck out 79 times while being outscored 49-18 in losing eight of its past nine contests.

“Obviously, we’ve got to be better than that,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “It’s just a lack of execution.”

Texas’ Dane Dunning (5-7, 4.07 ERA) is slated to come off the injured list Friday to make his first start since Aug. 2. He has been sidelined due to an ankle issue. The right-hander will look for a third consecutive winning start after allowing three runs over 11 1/3 innings in his past two outings.

In his only start vs. Oakland this season, on July 1, Dunning yielded three hits, walked two, hit a pair of batters and struck out four over four scoreless innings in the Rangers’ 8-3 road victory.

–Field Level Media

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