At some point, I guess the A’s were due to be on the wrong end of a blowout.
You don’t just lose two-fifths of your starting rotation (Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin) and plug in two unproven pitchers (Drew Pomeranz and Jesse Chavez) without having a few hiccups down the road.
Monday night, Pomeranz came down to earth, showing flashes of why he had a 6.23 ERA with the Rockies last season. He allowed eight runs in just 3.2 innings in a 14-8 A’s loss to the Rangers, and Pomeranz’s ERA soared from 1.90 to 2.91.
The Rangers scored 10 unanswered runs after the A’s had taken a 2-0 lead in the first inning. They tied the game in the second on a two-RBI single by Robison Chirinos, but the fourth inning is where Pomeranz really got hit hard. A leadoff single by Alex Rios, a home run by Donnie Murphy, then three more hits and a walk in the inning pushed the eighth run across the plate. Ryan Cook, in relief of Pomeranz, allowed a two-run double, but both of those runs were attributed to Pomeranz.
Oakland made a game of it though. Yoenis Cespedes belted a three-run homer in the sixth to cut the lead to 11-7, and they actually got the tying run to the plate the next inning after an Alberto Callaspo RBI hit got them a run closer. But Coco Crisp popped out, and Kyle Blanks struck to end the A’s last formidable threat.
— Every starter on both teams reached base at least once in the game. Every starter on both teams recorded a hit with the exception of the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
— The teams combined for 22 runs, 31 hits, and four errors. Needless to say, pitching and defense were optional tonight.
— Colby Lewis gave up 10 hits and five runs in 5.1 innings and was the winning pitcher of record. He is living right.
— This the most runs that Pomeranz has allowed in his career. It is his worst outing of the season by far; in fact, he allowed just five runs through his first 13 starts combined.
— Two former A’s came back to haunt their old team with home runs: Donnie Murphy and Michael Choice. Murphy spent parts of the 2007 and 2008 seasons with the A’s, while Choice, a former hot prospect in Oakland, was dealt to the Rangers for Craig Gentry this past offseason. Murphy, in fact, homered twice, his second belt providing the icing on the cake by giving the Rangers a 14-8 lead in the ninth.
— Alberto Callaspo had a four-hit night in his first day back off the paternity list. Perhaps the birth of a child will ignite a hot streak for the veteran following a big slump before his leave of absence.
— The road team has won every game this season between these two clubs, which each team sweeping a three-game series in the opposing team’s ballpark back in April. The strange trend continued tonight.
— Josh Donaldson broke out of his 0-for-33 slump yesterday with a slow roller through the right side for a single. Tonight, he hit one a little harder through the left side for a hit, but he still went just 1-for-5 and had some disappointing at-bats.
— Speaking of Donaldson, he leads all third basemen in All-Star voting by a wide margin. More than a million votes separate him from Adrian Beltre, so his spot on the team is probably safe even if he doesn’t get a hit from now until the All-Star break.
Other A’s in contention for a starting spot on the AL squad based on the latest numbers released today: Cespedes (fourth among outfielders), and Derek Norris (third among catchers). The A’s may actually have three All-Stars if they get a late push for Cespedes and Norris, not to mention the pitchers that might be chosen.