August 4, 2013

Rangers’ Matt Garza offers apology for Twitter rant

A’s infielder Eric Sogard and his wife were the target of the right-hander’s tirade.

Right-hander Matt Garza offered an apology to Eric Sogard and is considering leaving Twitter after slamming the Oakland infielder and his wife Saturday night through a series of messages on the social-networking site.

The rant followed the Athletics’ 4-2 victory over the Texas Rangers in which Sogard dropped two of the three sacrifice bunts Oakland used to help hand Garza his first loss since June 11.

Included was a squeeze play by Sogard in the seventh inning that led to Garza barking several curse words toward Sogard.

Garza then continued to boil over in response to a seemingly innocent tweet sent out by Sogard’s wife, Kaycee.

Among Garza’s tweets was a reference to Sogard as a “punk.” He also called the couple “chumps” and advised Kaycee to keep her “trap shut” because baseball is a “mans game.”

“All I want to say is I let my competitive spirit cross outside the lines, and that shouldn’t happen,” said Garza, who didn’t take questions from reporters. “I let my passion, my fire carry over, and that’s not how this game should be played.

“And for that I apologize to the Sogards for anything that was said through my Twitter. That’s all I have. I regret what happened, and I’m just looking forward to a great game today.”

Assistant general manager Thad Levine said that Garza was contrite when confronted about the situation and went so far as to say he would considered leaving Twitter. Levine apologized to the A’s and the Sogards for Garza’s behavior.

But no sort of counseling or anger management is planned for Garza, who was known to be fiery player when the Rangers acquired him July 22 from the Chicago Cubs.

“He was very contrite right from the outset of the conversation,” Levine said. “It was certainly crossing the line, and there were sentiments that certainly aren’t condoned by the team by any stretch. It’s totally inappropriate.”

Cruz’s leg sore

Nelson Cruz spent the finale of the three-game series at Coliseum as the Rangers’ designated hitter because he continues to be bothered by a bruise near his left hip.

Leonys Martin started in right field for Cruz, who homered in his first at-bat. Manager Ron Washington said that Cruz, if he isn’t suspended, will continue at DH.

One more for Lewis

Colby Lewis will continue to work on a medical rehabilitation assignment Thursday at Triple A Round Rock after allowing two runs in five innings Saturday at Double A Frisco.

Thad Levine said that Frisco pitching coach Jeff Andrews and Don Welke, a special assistant to the GM, noted improvement with Lewis, but another start was recommended with the goal of Lewis getting to 100 pitches.

Lewis, returning from a torn flexor tendon and triceps tendinitis, threw 86 pitches Saturday.

“It’s a similar refrain: Each outing he says he feels better,” Levine said. “The collective group felt it was the most prudent thing for him to have another start. He’s excited about helping this team, but he wants to do it when he feels he’s 100 percent able to do that.”

Also on the comeback trail is Neftali Feliz, who will work an inning Monday for the Arizona Rangers. He is looking at a September return from Tommy John surgery.

Perez faces Angels

Martin Perez turned in arguably his best start of the season Wednesday against the Los Angeles Angels, and he’ll get a chance for a repeat performance Monday night at Angels Stadium to open a three-game series.

Perez said that he won’t change much from what he did while allowing one run on four hits in 71/3 innings in a game the Rangers won 2-1. The lone run came on a Josh Hamilton homer on a first-pitch fastball.

“Nothing’s different,” said Perez, who is 3-2 in eight starts since being recalled from Round Rock on June 22.

“I was more relaxed. I took a deep breath before the pitch, and just threw the ball. I didn’t think too much.”

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