A’s hammered by Rangers in blowout

Texas poured it on. Then they poured on even more.

The A’s were pounded by the Rangers’ long ball Wednesday evening, starter Felix Doubront (L, 3-3, 5.53 ERA) allowed a pair of three run homers to Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre as Texas steamrolled to a 10-3 win.

Doubront’s seven earned runs came on eight hits and two walks, and included two strikeouts while throwing 91 pitches, only 51 for strikes. A’s manager Bob Melvin said:

“His cutter is his pitch, and he just hasn’t been getting it in like he normally does. Leaving it just on the plate a little bit to where they can extend and get it.”

Beltre in particular had his way with Doubront, two hits, two runs, and three RBI on a night where the Rangers are looking to make their final push to prove they belong atop the American League West standings.

Oakland proved why they belong at the bottom as Colby Lewis (W, 17-8, 4.36 ERA) earned the win.

Two errors on outfielder Josh Reddick, reminded everyone just how Oakland fell so far so quickly. One was a bobble that would allow what might have been a single to become three total bases. It was an ugly play that personified one of the larger ailments of this A’s roster.

Photos by Scot Tucker/SFBay

It wasn’t like the A’s weren’t going to need to flash some leather with Doubront on the mound, a notoriously slow starter who is spotty at best. Excellent defense was going to need to be paired with clutch hitting to win.

Neither were part of the A’s night.

Oakland scored first on a third-inning single hit by catcher Carson Blair which scored infielder Brett Lawrie. Josh Reddick and Eric Sogard homered in the sixth and seventh innings, solo shots in both instances.

The A’s also broke a franchise record for their time in Oakland: Billy Burns hit the team’s 41st three-bagger of the year, setting a new mark for triples in one season.

Burns has been a bright spot for the A’s, one of a few potential stars Oakland is trying to groom. Not much for power normally, Burns has extreme speed and can bunt for a base hit or chase down a fly ball most outfielders would have no chance with.

Burns leads MLB rookies in steals with 26, as well as multiple hit games with 44. Perhaps the most important figure is that Burns leads American League rookies in hits, his 143 dwarfing the production of other talents across baseball.

Most of the A’s hitters, though, are not producing as they’d like to.

Utilityman Stephen Vogt has seen his batting average plummet after he torched everything during the first half of the season, and was working through obvious pain as he dealt with tennis elbow and numerous catcher-related injuries.

Billy Butler, who the A’s brought in on a three-year, $30 million contract, produced during April then failed to do much else until late in the year.

Marcus Semien, who is looking like the player Oakland wanted in the middle infield, began the year with a hot bat and a glove that just couldn’t do much right.

After the team brought in Ron Washington to coach Semien on his defense, the glove got much better but the emphasis on his leather seemed to hamper how he swung his wood.

He’s beginning to look like a very competent ballplayer now, and has a ceiling with escape hatches and scissor lifts. It wouldn’t be shocking at all if Semien emerged as an All-Star in 2016.

Oakland pitching, though, isn’t good enough now even with several hot bats behind them. 10 runs were allowed Wednesday, R.J. Alvarez giving up three in one ninth inning frame, just before Rangers oldie Ross Olendorf retired the side.

Oakland concludes the series with Texas on Thursday afternoon as veteran Cole Hamels duels Oakland’s Chris Bassitt.


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