Major League Baseball
Preview
Texas at Oakland
When: 3:35 PM ET, Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Where: O.co Coliseum, Oakland, California

The Texas Rangers continue to find ways to get the job done despite a growing injury list while winning seven of their last eight games to post the second best record in the American League (13-8). The Rangers can take over first place in the AL-West when they visit the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday afternoon after capturing the first two of the three-game series. Texas scored twice in the ninth to win 5-4 on Tuesday as it improved to 7-2 in one-run contests and 4-4 on the road.

Rangers leadoff batter Shin-Soo Choo suffered a sprained left ankle Monday and is day-to-day while teammate Kevin Kouzmanoff left Tuesday’s game with a stiff back. Oakland had won 11 of 13 games before dropping the last two, including its sixth blown save of the season Tuesday. The Athletics must solve their bullpen woes, but their starting pitchers have a combined 2.74 ERA – best in the AL.

TV: 3:35 p.m. ET; FSN Southwest (Texas), CSN California (Oakland)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Rangers LH Martin Perez (3-0, 1.86 ERA) vs. Athletics RH Sonny Gray (3-0, 1.80)

Perez has been an ace in his last two starts, tossing 17 shutout innings while allowing eight hits and striking out 10 in wins over the Chicago White Sox and Houston. The Venezuelan is 2-3 with a 5.79 ERA in five starts – the most he has made against any team – versus Oakland in his short career. Josh Donaldson is 3-for-7 with a homer against Perez, who finished 10-6 in 2013.

Gray has put together four straight quality starts and won the last three, allowing seven runs (five earned) over 25 innings of work overall. The 24-year-old Nashville native, who was 5-3 with a 2.67 ERA in his rookie season in 2013, has struck out 23 and walked nine. Gray meets Texas for the first time in his career after beating Seattle twice and Houston once during his streak.

WALK-OFFS

1. The Rangers are 7-2 to start the season against AL-West opponents after going 53-23 in 2013.

2. Oakland RHP Dan Otero has not allowed a home run in his 61 2/3 innings of work in the major leagues – all as a reliever.

3. Texas OF Alex Rios is third in the AL with 27 hits and has at least two in four of the last six games while boasting a .321 batting average.

PREDICTION: Athletics 4, Rangers 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Texas 13-8 W2 9-4 4-4 2-4 2-1 7-2 2-1
Oakland 13-7 L2 6-5 7-2 0-0 4-2 9-5 0-0
Last Meeting
Texas Oakland
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
4/22/14 TEX 5 OAK 4 .281 0 .722 .273 0 .736
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Texas D. Murphy .429 3 .857
Oakland C. Crisp .500 4 1.225
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Texas S. Choo 1 1 1
Oakland B. Moss 1 1 1
Pitching ERA Avg K
Texas 2.50 .294 11
Oakland 4.50 .261 10
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Texas A. Rios .321 27 .784
Oakland A. Callaspo .297 19 .801
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Texas S. Choo 2 10 7
Oakland J. Donaldson 4 15 14
Pitching ERA Avg K
Texas 3.95 .274 145
Oakland 2.67 .255 164