The Texas Rangers bolstered their bullpen at the trade deadline, but it has shown holes of late.
The 'pen has allowed runs in the past six games, the latest coming in what became a five-run sixth inning for Oakland on Saturday afternoon. Texas battled back, but eventually fell 8-7 at Rangers Ballpark.
With the game tied 3-3 going into the sixth, Oakland seemed to pull away for good.
Rangers starter Alexi Ogando led off the inning by hitting Josh Willingham with a pitch, and then gave up a single to David DeJesus. After that, Michael Gonzalez relieved Ogando, and retired two straight before issuing a walk to Kurt Suzuki to load the bases.
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The Rangers called on Yoshinori Tateyama to bail them out, but he didn’t. Tateyama gave up a grand slam to A’s pinch-hitter Scott Sizemore, a single to Jemile Weeks and a run-scoring double to Cliff Pennington.
Going into the game, the Rangers bullpen had the second-highest ERA in the American League.
But Texas made it interesting. The Rangers scored two runs in each the sixth – on a two-run homer by Adrian Beltre – and the seventh – two-run single by Michael Young – to pull to within 8-7.
The Rangers had a chance in the eighth when Yorvit Torrealba led off with a single to right, but that threat ended when Mitch Moreland lined into a double play at first.
Oakland closer Andrew Bailey closed it out with a scoreless ninth, although the Rangers got the game-tying run to second. Josh Hamilton drew a two-out walk, and Young followed with an infield single. But the game ended when Beltre lined out to second.
Ogando took the loss, allowing five runs (three earned) on six hits with one walk and three strikeouts over five-plus innings.
Oakland starter Trevor Cahill earned the victory, allowing five runs on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts over five innings.
-- Drew Davison