Rangers beat A’s in game marred by death of fan
AP Sports Writer
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Derek Holland rebounded from his shortest outing ever with a four-hitter for his third career shutout and Josh Hamilton had four RBIs for the Texas Rangers in a 6-0 victory Thursday night over the Oakland Athletics – a game marred by the death of a fan who fell out of the stands while trying to catch a ball.
TV replays showed the man, whom the Rangers didn’t immediately identify, falling head-first and landing behind a 14-foot-high wall supporting a video board for replays and scores.
The accident occurred in the second inning after Oakland’s Conor Jackson hit a foul ball that ricocheted into left field. Hamilton retrieved the ball and tossed it into the stands. Replays on Oakland’s television broadcast show the man reaching for the ball and apparently catching it before tumbling.
The Rangers said he fell about 20 feet.
Rangers president Nolan Ryan said the team was “deeply saddened” to learn that the man “has passed away as a result of this tragic accident.”
Holland (7-4) struck out seven and walked two while allowing only four singles. The left-hander had allowed five runs and four hits while getting only two outs in his previous start Saturday night against Florida.
Hamilton drove in a run in each of his first four at-bats, putting Texas ahead to stay with an RBI groundout in the first. The outfielder, who is set for his fourth consecutive All-Star start next week, added a run-scoring single in the third before two sacrifice fly balls after that.
This was the makeup of a May 11 game that was rained out after Texas built a 7-0 lead through four innings.
Rich Harden (1-1) gave up five runs and eight hits over five innings in his second start of the season for the Athletics.
There was an audible gasp in the stands when the man tumbled over the rail, eerily similar to an accident last July when a man fell about 30 feet from the second-deck of seats down the right-field line while trying to catch a foul ball.
Before the Rangers batted in the second, manager Ron Washington spoke briefly with one of the umpires. Michael Young, who was leading off the inning, could be seen talking to A’s catcher Kurt Suzuki and pointing toward the area where the previous accident happened.
Holland struck out four of the first six batters he faced, getting all three outs in the first on strikes.
After Suzuki’s single in the fifth, Holland retired 10 consecutive batters without a ball leaving the infield before giving up a pair of singles and a walk in the ninth.
It was the 10th time this season that Oakland was held scoreless.
Holland threw a five-hit shutout at Cleveland on June 4. He was 1-3 in his five starts until Thursday night.
Mitch Moreland had a grand slam wiped out when the May 11 game was rained out and none of the stats counted.
Moreland had a double and a single in the makeup. He led off the Texas fourth with his double and scored on a single by Mike Napoli that made it 3-0.
Michael Young led off the fifth with his eighth homer. That was also his 959th career run, breaking his tie with Rafael Palmeiro for the most in the Washington/Texas franchise history. Young was already the team’s career leader in games played, hits, doubles and triples.
Notes: Young had his string of three consecutive three-hit games snapped, but is still hitting .426 (26-61) over his last 15 games. … Oakland is 5-10 since a season-high six-game winning streak. … Harden, who pitched with Texas last season, is 5-3 against the Rangers.