The Oakland Athletics will look to win their eighth series of the season when they square off against the hapless Texas Rangers on Thursday at Arlington, Texas, in the finale of a four-game series between American League West rivals.
Oakland captured Wednesday’s contest 3-1, scoring the deciding runs on a sixth-inning wild pitch and an eighth-inning hit batsman. It was the second straight victory for the Athletics and their sixth win in their past eight games.
Oakland, which has the best record in the American League at 22-10, has won five of its six games against Texas this season. The Athletics have captured seven of their 10 series so far this season, with one series split.
The Rangers, conversely, have lost 10 of their past 11 games.
Oakland third baseman Matt Chapman is expected to be back in the starting lineup after being given most of Wednesday’s game off the try to shrug off the effects of being hit in the batting helmet just above the left ear by a pitch on Tuesday in the Athletics’ 10-3 win.
Chapman was able to stay in Tuesday’s game but said afterward that he had a headache. The pain was gone by the time he reported to Globe Life Field on Wednesday but soon returned.
“Once (Chapman) started working on hitting in the cage, the headache came back,” Athletics manager Bob Melvin said. “It’s a little tender right where he got hit. There’s no concussion. But we just didn’t want to mess around with that.”
Chapman entered Wednesday’s game as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning and did not get an at bat.
The Athletics have been hit by pitches an American League-high 25 times this season, but Chapman’s beaning was the first time an Oakland player had been hit in the head.
The Rangers’ played without Rougned Odor for the second straight game as the veteran second baseman has a “significant eye infection,” according to Texas manager Chris Woodward. Woodward hopes Odor, who’s batting .150 in 80 at bats over 22 games, can return for Thursday’s series finale.
“(Odor’s eye infection) seems a little bit worse today, so we are going to keep him out,” Woodward said on Wednesday. “He’s getting some medicine and eye drops and all kinds of stuff to try to clean it up. Hopefully, it gets better, and he’ll be available – I’m just not sure.”
The Athletics will send right-hander Chris Bassitt (2-1, 2.97 ERA) to the mound on Thursday. Bassitt who has 28 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings, was the victim of multiple errors by his infield in his last start on Saturday, when two of the four runs he allowed were unearned in a loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
Texas will give the ball to right-hander Jordan Lyles (1-3, 9.25), who made two starts against the Athletics last season and is 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA in three starts against them in his career. He is 1-1 with a 7.16 ERA in four games (three starts) at home this season.
–Field Level Media