Anderson’s problems with Texas on the road
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Brett Anderson had all kinds of trouble in Texas again.
The Oakland Athletics left-hander lasted only 4 2-3 innings Tuesday night in a 7-2 loss to the Rangers. He is 0-3 with an 8.62 ERA in four career road starts against Texas, and 1-4 with a 6.62 ERA in seven starts overall against the Rangers.
This time, Anderson (2-3) allowed four runs and six hits on 97 pitches at hitter-friendly Rangers Ballpark.
“Not making any excuses, I just don’t pitch well against the Rangers,” he said. “It’s weird. It’s just one of those teams that has your number, which is unfortunate because they’re in our division and you face them more.”
Anderson also struggled in a home start against Texas on April 30, giving up seven runs and nine hits in five innings of an 11-2 defeat.
On a muggy night in North Texas, Anderson never was able to get into a rhythm.
“He seemed to have trouble getting a grip on the ball,” manager Bob Geren said. “It was hot, he was sweating, kind of holding onto the ball a little tight.”
The Rangers loaded the bases in the fourth against Anderson on two singles and a walk, and Mike Napoli walked to force in the game’s first run. Craig Gentry’s two-out single, his first RBI this season and the fifth of his career, made it 2-0.
Anderson said he had no feel for the ball in the fourth, that it was like trying to “grip a wet cue ball.”
In the fifth, Michael Young doubled and Adrian Beltre ripped a high fastball into the left-field seats for his eighth homer and a 4-0 lead.
“I made some adjustments in the dugout to dry out and get a little better grip, but it was a bad pitch to Beltre,” Anderson said.
David Murphy greeted reliever David Purcey with a single and scored on Napoli’s double for a 5-0 lead.
Colby Lewis (3-4) allowed one run and five hits over 7 1-3 innings. He walked one and failed to register a strikeout for the Rangers, who had lost seven of nine and 11 of 15.
The right-hander got 16 outs on balls hit in the air and threw a season-high 115 pitches.
Beltre was given a night off Monday and had gone 4 for 31 over his previous nine games. He batted sixth for the first time this season as manager Ron Washington revamped his lineup after the Rangers hit .231 in their previous nine games. Beltre’s first 35 starts this season had been at cleanup.
Young, making the first start of his 12-year career in the No. 4 slot, went 3 for 4 with a two-run triple in the sixth.
The Rangers are without injured sluggers Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz, and Washington decided to shake up his batting order. He also moved regular No. 9 hitter Julio Borbon into the leadoff position, and normal leadoff man Ian Kinsler into the No. 3 hole.
Oakland’s Cliff Pennington homered in the sixth before a 59-minute rain delay, and Conor Jackson added a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
Lewis remained in the game after the sixth-inning delay, working out of a first-and-third jam when he retired Daric Barton on a lineout and Ryan Sweeney on a popup.
NOTES: Lewis had his first start without a strikeout since May 22, 2007, while with the A’s, a string of 37 straight starts. … Oakland RHP Andrew Bailey, on the 15-day DL all season with a strained right forearm, pitched his first simulated game of the season Tuesday at Rangers Ballpark. Geren said his closer allowed one walk and no hits in 30 pitches to “six or seven hitters. It was decent for his first time out there like that. He threw all his pitches and he was throwing strikes.” In Bailey’s absence, Brian Fuentes, Grant Balfour and Brad Ziegler have all registered saves for the A’s.