A’s shot down by Rangers in second game of season

In the second game of 2015, A’s outfielder Craig Gentry misplayed a Prince Fielder liner to right field that allowed two runs to score, lifting the game out of Oakland’s reach and handing Oakland a 3-1 loss to the Texas Rangers.

Oakland starter Jesse Hahn was officially charged with all three runs. Hahn struck out three batters while allowing seven hits in six innings.

On the hits by Fielder, Hahn said it was definitely frustrating:

“It is. I thought I made a great pitch, so that’s one where you tip your cap and charge it to the game.”

Oakland manager Bob Melvin said he thought Hahn did fine, but the rest of the team just couldn’t provide offense:

“I thought he pitched well. Didn’t walk anybody. Throwing strikes. We just didn’t give him enough runs.”

Photos by Scot Tucker/SFBay

Rangers starter Colby Lewis allowed only three hits in six innings, one earned run and striking out four.

A’s third baseman Brett Lawrie accounted for half of his strikeouts. Lawrie struck out four times and was the last batter of the night. 

Melvin explained what Lewis did right:

“He had a real good cutter-slider. We talked about it before, that he’s not going to give in. The counts where you fall behind, he’s not going to give you fastballs. And it seemed like he was on the corner the whole night with his cutter.”

The A’s offense was stymied by their own mistakes, including some costly ground balls resulting in double plays.

Perhaps none was more devastating to the game’s outcome than a bases-loaded at-bat with shortstop Marcus Semien at the plate.

With only one out, Semien exercised some patience and worked reliever Keone Kela into a full count. He then fouled one back behind the Rangers dugout on the first base side of home.

But he hit a soft curving grounder to shortstop Elvis Andrus, who stepped on second base before tossing the ball to Mitch Moreland at first.

The play extinguished most of any A’s hope, and Texas closer Netali Feliz would eventually put the stake through the heart of anything left in the ninth inning.

Third baseman Brett Lawrie struck out four times on the evening, on 12 pitches, offering up the explanation of not being aggressive early.

The bright star for the A’s was Sam Fuld, who turned a hard hit ball to the fence into a triple with his quick feet. It’s Fuld’s second in as many days, as is the run he scored, as well as his 2-for-4 performance.

Melvin didn’t seem like he wanted to issue praise when asked, but said the young outfielder is doing what the team expects from him.

The A’s have a lefty-on-lefty matchup Wednesday, with their own Scott Kazmir dueling Ross Detwiler.

Perhaps a few new faces will see Oakland’s diamond for the first time.

Notes

Both teams threw 135 pitches Tuesday evening, Oakland throwing 85 strikes to the Rangers’ 84. … Oakland has been linked to outfielder Cody Ross over the past 24 hours, and reports have surfaced that it’s likely he’ll be heading to Oakland. … The club has battled injuries in the outfield early, with Coco Crisp and Josh Reddick opening the year on the disabled list. … Crisp, normally in center and batting leadoff, will miss all of April and most of May. Reddick is slated to return towards the end of April. …If Ross is picked up via waivers, it’s expected that Oakland demote outfielder Billy Burns.


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Follow @SFBay and @LeskiwSFBay on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of the Oakland Athletics.