The Texas Rangers own the best record in baseball, but they have had their struggles with the Oakland Athletics. Texas squeezed out a 7-6 victory over the Athletics in the opener of a four-game series, raising its record to 3-4 against Oakland this season. David Murphy came up with the clutch hit, a two-run single, and is 6-for-8 with seven RBIs in his last two games. Josh Hamilton showed signs of breaking out of 6-for-36 slump with two hits and two RBIs and Ian Kinsler had four hits.
Despite the loss, the Athletics had to be happy to see their offense finally come to life. After mustering a total of only 10 hits in its previous three-game series against Seattle, Oakland had three homers and 12 hits in Thursday’s game. Rookie Yoenis Cespedes continued to torch the Rangers with three hits and two RBIs and Coco Crisp also had three hits, helping him lift his batting average 65 points in the last 19 games.
Athletics Rangers Betting
When: 8:05 PM ET, Friday, June 29, 2012
Where: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Arlington, Texas
TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, CSCA (Oakland), KTXA (Texas)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Athletics RH A.J. Griffin (0-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. Rangers LH Matt Harrison (10-3, 3.24)
Griffin is coming off a solid performance in his major league debut, limiting the San Francisco Giants to two runs on three hits in six-plus innings after he was promoted to make a start in place of Brandon McCarthy. After allowing a two-run homer in the first inning, he gave up one hit the rest of the way and retired 13 straight at one point.
Harrison has won six consecutive decisions, but had his last start cut short due to back tightness after throwing five scoreless innings against Colorado. He has allowed only one run over 27 1/3 innings in his last four starts and is 6-0 with a 1.29 ERA in his past seven outings, yielding a total of seven runs in that span. Harrison is 4-1 with a 4.22 ERA lifetime against Oakland.
1. Harrison will be seeking his American League-leading 11th victory.
2. Cespedes is 10-for-16 with six RBIs in five games against the Rangers.
3. The Rangers tied a season high with four stolen bases, boosting their American League-leading total to 63.