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After high-scoring opener, A’s, Rangers pitchers look to stem tide

Sportsnaut
Jul 1, 2022; New York City, New York, USA;  Texas Rangers starting pitcher Glenn Otto (49) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Scoring runs wasn’t the issue for the Oakland Athletics on Monday night in Arlington, Texas. Preventing them? That was another story.

After falling behind the Texas Rangers 10-2, the A’s rallied for six runs in the eighth inning and had the tying runs on base in the ninth, only to lose 10-8. Oakland slipped to 2-6 against Texas in the season series.

In the middle game of the series on Tuesday night, the Rangers will start right-hander Glenn Otto (4-5, 5.26 ERA) and the A’s will counter with right-hander James Kaprielian (1-5, 5.06).

Texas shortstop Corey Seager went deep on Monday, giving him homers in four straight games and five of his past six. The A’s, meanwhile, who are 29th in the majors in runs scored, showed some life at the plate on Monday.

Otto will face the Athletics for the second time this season and the third time in his career. He picked up a win at Oakland in his season debut on April 22, when he gave up one run on two hits and one walk in five innings. He struck out five.

It was a big improvement over his previous start against the A’s, when he was roughed up for eight runs in 3 1/3 innings last Sept. 10. Otto’s career record against the A’s is 1-1 with a 9.72 ERA.

Throwing strikes consistently has been an issue for Otto this season, as he’s averaging seven strikeouts per nine innings but also 5.6 walks per nine innings.

Over his past seven starts, Otto has 24 strikeouts and 22 walks in 33 innings.

The Rangers’ rotation received a blow on Monday when the team placed right-hander Dane Dunning on the 15-day injured list due to a right ankle impingement. The ankle has bothered him for a couple of weeks.

“Hopefully, not that severe,” manager Chris Woodward said on the Rangers’ pregame radio show. “That’s what we’re hoping. We’ll see how the next couple of days go and how he feels.”

Left-hander Kolby Allard was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock, and he allowed five runs in one-third of an inning on Monday.

Kaprielian has been victimized by the long ball, surrendering 12 home runs in 64 innings.

In two July starts, Kaprielian has been effective, giving up two runs in 12 innings for a 1.50 ERA. Opponents are hitting .191 off him this month, but he has walked six and struck out just five.

A first-round pick of the New York Yankees in 2015, Kaprielian will be matched with the Rangers for the second time this season. On May 29, he wasn’t involved in a decision in a game in which he gave up four runs, including two home runs, in 4 1/3 innings.

In his career against Texas, Kaprielian is 1-2 with a 4.95 ERA in seven starts.

With Texas catcher/designated hitter Mitch Garver undergoing season-ending surgery on Monday to repair a flexor tendon in his right forearm, catcher Sam Huff was recalled from Round Rock.

The A’s on Sunday promoted infielder Dermis Garcia from Triple-A Las Vegas, and the former highly ranked prospect in the Yankees system is expected to see ample opportunities against left-handed pitching.

Texas has four southpaws in its bullpen.

“Dermis is an exciting young player,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said, according to MLB.com. “We’ll utilize him in different ways. He’s done well this season, so far, and we feel he’s earned this opportunity.”

–Field Level Media