Texas Rangers

Rangers foiled by Graveman, defensive lapses

Yu Darvish details his latest Rangers start

Texas Rangers starter Yu Darvish hits some of the highlights of his start Saturday against Oakland (video by Jeff Wilson).
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Texas Rangers starter Yu Darvish hits some of the highlights of his start Saturday against Oakland (video by Jeff Wilson).

The following doesn’t happen very often to any pitcher, let alone Yu Darvish:

The right-hander had allowed three hits in five scoreless innings Saturday night, yet was being outpitched.

To that point, the Texas Rangers hadn’t managed any hits through five innings against Oakland A’s right-hander Kendall Graveman, who finally found a way to cool off one of the league’s top offenses early this season.

Graveman held the Rangers hitless for 6  2/3 innings before Mike Napoli connected for a home run, and the A’s managed a sixth-inning run against Darvish and pulled away for a 6-1 victory that was aided by some dicey Rangers defense.

But manager Jeff Banister wasn’t taking anything away from Graveman.

“Graveman had a heck of a night,” Banister said. “Good running life on a hard fastball, nothing straight, and then a cutter in on the left-handers and away from the right-handers. It was electric stuff. Until Napoli hit the ball out of the ballpark, I don’t think he had much hard hit off of him.”

The only Rangers batter to earn his way on base in the first six innings was Rougned Odor, who walked with one out in the second. Jonathan Lucroy was next, and he reached on a fielder’s choice as Graveman threw wildly to second base to get Odor on Lucroy’s chopper to the mound.

It was electric stuff. Until Napoli hit the ball out of the ballpark, I don’t think he had much hard hit off of him.

Rangers manager Jeff Banister, on Kendall Graveman

Graveman retired the next 15 batters, including consecutive strikeouts to start the seventh before Napoli launched the first pitch he saw into the visitor’s bullpen. The Rangers were down only 2-1.

The A’s removed Graveman after a sharp single by Odor and a lineout by Lucroy to end the seventh. Graveman had similar success last season against the Rangers on Sept. 23, when he no-hit them through six innings before Carlos Gomez and Ian Desmond got him for consecutive singles to open the seventh.

Adrian Beltre followed two batters later with a homer in a 3-0 Rangers victory.

On Friday, the Rangers would have taken Desmond and Beltre, who could be activated from the 10-day disabled list Sunday. But the Rangers also didn’t help themselves defensively as four of the A’s runs should have never scored.

The only tally against Darvish came in the sixth after he walked Matt Joyce to start the inning. Darvish felt as if he was squeezed by plate ump Jerry Meals.

“I executed the pitches,” Darvish said. “If it’s called a ball, it’s a ball and I need to keep my focus and execute the next pitch.”

Rangers center fielder Carlos Gomez credited Nomar Mazara for his homer-saving catch and coaches for his baserunning feats in the first inning Friday night (Video by Stefan Stevenson).

Ryon Healy followed with a double, and Stephen Vogt’s soft grounder two batters later pushed Joyce across. Darvish finished the inning and was finished for the night after allowing four hits and three walks with five strikeouts.

“Compared to the first outing, I was able to throw much better pitches, and I think that will help me in my next outing,” Darvish said.

Oakland turned a Napoli throwing error in the seventh into a run against Tony Barnette. Down only 2-1 after Napoli’s homer with two outs in the seventh to spoil Graveman’s no-hit bid, the Rangers watched the A’s score three two-out runs in the eighth after another defensive lapse.

It’s a ball that we need to catch.

Banister, on Nomar Mazara’s misplay on a fly ball in the eighth

Nomar Mazara misplayed a fly ball in the right-field corner with two outs into an RBI double by Jed Lowrie, and Yonder Alonso followed with a two-run homer off Dario Alvarez for a 5-1 advantage.

A strong wind contributed to Mazara’s woes, but there wasn’t a ton of sympathy for him.

“It’s a ball that we need to catch,” Banister said.

The A’s kept going in the ninth with another run against right-hander Mike Hauschild, the Rule 5 choice who was making his major league debut.

Darvish allowed only one run in six innings and hadn’t allowed a run in the first five. Yet, he was being outpitched.

That doesn’t happen very often.

“We battled and Yu gave us a chance to win,” Lucroy said. “He did the best job he could. We just ran into a really good arm tonight.”

Oakland

000

001

131

6

10

1

Texas

000

000

100

1

2

1

Oakland AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Semien ss

3

0

1

1

2

1

.235

Joyce rf

4

1

0

0

1

2

.176

Healy 3b

5

0

1

0

0

1

.174

K.Davis lf

5

1

1

0

0

2

.333

Vogt c

4

0

0

1

0

1

.200

Lowrie 2b

4

1

3

1

0

0

.381

Alonso 1b

4

2

2

2

0

1

.389

Canha dh

4

0

0

0

0

2

.000

R.Davis cf

3

1

2

1

0

0

.167

Totals 36

6

10

6

3

10

Texas AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Gomez cf

4

0

0

0

0

0

.167

Choo dh

4

0

0

0

0

2

.222

Mazara rf

4

0

0

0

0

3

.476

Napoli 1b

3

1

1

1

0

1

.111

Odor 2b

2

0

1

0

1

1

.389

Lucroy c

3

0

0

0

0

0

.133

Gallo 3b

3

0

0

0

0

1

.125

Rua lf

3

0

0

0

0

0

.000

Andrus ss

3

0

0

0

0

0

.294

Totals 29

1

2

1

1

8

E—Graveman (1), Napoli (1). LOB—Oakland 7, Texas 2. 2B—Healy (1), K.Davis (2), Lowrie (2), R.Davis 2 (2). HR—Alonso (1), off Alvarez; Napoli (1), off Graveman. RBIs—Semien (1), Vogt (2), Lowrie (2), Alonso 2 (5), R.Davis (3), Napoli (2). SB—Semien 2 (3). SF—R.Davis. Runners left in scoring position—Oakland 4 (Healy, K.Davis 2, Lowrie). RISP—Oakland 3 for 13; Texas 0 for 1. Runners moved up—Joyce, Vogt, Gallo. GIDP—Gallo. DP—Oakland 1 (Graveman, Semien, Alonso).

Oakland

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Gravmn W, 2-0

7

2

1

1

1

5

85

2.08

Casilla

1

0

0

0

0

1

15

0.00

Madson

1

0

0

0

0

2

19

0.00

Texas

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Darvish L, 0-1

6

4

1

1

3

5

97

3.65

Barnette

1

1

1

0

0

1

14

0.00

Jeffress

 1/3

1

1

1

0

0

14

13.50

Alvarez

 2/3

2

2

2

0

2

12

18.00

Hauschild

1

2

1

1

0

2

23

9.00

Inherited runners-scored—Alvarez 1-1. WP—Hauschild. T—2:59. A—44,410 (48,114).

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