The Oakland Athletics get a fifth opportunity to pick on their favorite opposing pitcher when they host left-hander Kolby Allard and the Texas Rangers on Saturday afternoon.
The A’s (77-64) earned their third straight win on Friday in the series opener, bombing Rangers rookie Glenn Otto for eight runs in 3 1/3 innings.
They haven’t had that kind of success against Allard (3-12, 5.00 ERA) this season, but they have three wins to show for the head-to-heads nonetheless.
Allard is the only pitcher the A’s have beaten three times this season.
All three of Allard’s losses to Oakland came over a three-week stretch, and weren’t entirely the 24-year-old’s fault. He did serve up 11 runs in 18 innings, but he got little run support in 5-1, 3-1 and 4-1 defeats.
Allard got a first measure of revenge on Aug. 15 when he pitched a similar game — three runs in 6 1/3 innings — and emerged with a 7-4 home win over the A’s. It was his only victory in his past 14 starts.
He is 1-5 with a 6.46 ERA in six career starts against the A’s.
Rangers manager Chris Woodward noted that Allard pitched well his last time out against the Los Angeles Angels … until having to deal with Shohei Ohtani in the sixth inning. One swing of the bat turned a 1-0 Rangers deficit into 4-0, ending Allard’s night.
“He was throwing really well. He was cruising right along,” Woodward said. “It was a decent outing. It just doesn’t look good in the box score.”
Allard will have to deal with Starling Marte for the second time after having limited him to 1-for-3 with a single and a warning-track flyball in the lefty’s August win over the A’s.
Texas pitchers have had no such luck stalling the rampaging Marte, who added three hits, including a triple, two runs and two RBIs to his already impressive ledger against the Rangers since the A’s acquired him in a trade from Miami.
Marte has now gone 15-for-35 (.429) with two doubles, a triple, a homer, nine RBIs, seven runs and four steals in seven contests vs. Texas.
Looking to benefit from another Marte explosion Saturday will be A’s left-hander Cole Irvin (9-13, 4.10 ERA), who has gone winless in his past three starts, allowing 13 runs in 10 innings.
Irvin has gone 2-2 this season against the Rangers (51-89), getting 12 and 13 runs of support in the wins. Those were his first four career starts against Texas, during which he compiled a 4.50 ERA.
The 27-year-old likely will have to make do without the guy A’s manager Bob Melvin labeled his player of the game in the series opener. Reliever Deolis Guerra entered with Oakland leading 6-4 in the third inning and stalled a Rangers rally.
Guerra wound up earning the win after throwing 2 1/3 innings of scoreless, hitless ball.
“Huge,” Melvin said of Guerra’s role in the victory. “He stabilized the game for us and allowed us to score a few more runs and make it a different game. When you’re looking for guys who really impacted the game today, I don’t know anybody who did it more than him.”
–Field Level Media