After his last start, Justin Duchscherer had a new son—and a new spot in Oakland’s starting rotation.
In his second outing for the Athletics, Duchscherer looks to lead his team to its sixth straight win as Oakland concludes its three-game series with the Texas Rangers at The Ballpark in Arlington.
On Tuesday, Duchscherer made his first major league appearance since 2001, giving up just four hits in seven shutout innings of an 8-1 win over the Anaheim Angels.
The win came on the same day that Duchscherer’s wife, Michele, gave birth to the couple’s first child in Trenton, N.J.
“Today was an amazing day, the best day of my life,” Duchscherer said through an A’s official before leaving the stadium before the end of the game to join his wife and son. “Having a baby and winning my Oakland debut, it doesn’t get much better than that.”
Duchscherer went 1-1 with a 12.27 ERA in five appearances, including two starts, with the Rangers in 2001.
On Monday, he was called up from Triple-A Sacramento, where he was Pacific Coast League pitcher of the year, to help replace Mark Mulder in the rotation. Mulder is on the 15-day disabled list with a stress fracture in his right femur.
“It wasn’t that hard,” he said. “I just went out there and stuck to the game plan. I wanted it to be a good first day for my son and it turned out that way. My head was in the ball game.”
The A’s were impressed with his poise.
“When his turn comes up, he’ll be in there again,” manager Gene Macha said.
On Saturday, the A’s beat the Rangers 9-3. Erubiel Durazo homered twice and, and Jose Guillen went 3-for-5 with a home run for Oakland, which leads Seattle by 2 1/2 games in the AL West. The Mariners beat the Anaheim Angels 5-1 on Saturday.
Hank Blalock went 3-for-5 with a double for the Rangers, who have lost four straight and eight of nine.
STANDINGS: Athletics - 1st place, AL West. Rangers - 4th place, 23 1/2 GB, AL West.
ATHLETICS PROBABLE STARTER: Duchscherer (1-0, 0.00 ERA). The 25-year-old righty has never faced the Rangers.
RANGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Tony Mounce (1-4, 6.48 ERA). Mounce gave up four earned runs and six hits in five innings of the Rangers’ 5-4 win over the Seattle Mariners, but he did not receive a decision. The left-hander, who has not won since July 3, is 0-0 with a 0.84 ERA—his best mark against any team— in two career starts against the A’s, both of which came in June.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Athletics - Eric Chavez, .280 avg. and 27 HRs; Miuel Tejada, 95 RBIs and 91 runs; Eric Byrnes and Tejada, 9 SBs. Rangers - Blalock, .314 avg.; Alex Rodriguez, 42 HRs, 108 RBIs, 115 runs and 16 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Athletics, 11-4.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Athletics - 1B Graham Koonce, OF Jason Grabowski, OF Mike Edwards, C Mark Johnson, 2B Esteban German and RHP Jeremy Fikac will be called up from Triple-A Sacramento, which won the Pacific Coast League title Friday. … The A’s are 5-1 so far in their season-ending stretch of 19 consecutive games against AL West teams. … Oakland is 34-21 since the All-Star break. The Athletics have not lost more than 21 games in the second half since going 43-32 in 2000. Rangers - Texas CF Laynce Nix was 0-for-17 before a sixth-inning single. … The Rangers had rookies in the last five spots in their batting order. … LHP Mounce is 0-2 with a 8.82 ERA in four home starts this season.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Athletics - 36-38 on the road; Rangers - 38-35 at home.
INJURIES: Athletics - LHP Micah Bowie (elbow), 15-day DL; LHP Mark Mulder (leg), 15-day DL. Rangers - INF Herbert Perry (shoulder), 60-day DL; OF Juan Gonzalez (calf), 60-day DL; OF Rusty Greer (neck), 60-day DL; OF Kevin Mench (wrist), 60-day DL; RHP Chan Ho Park (back), 60-day DL; RHP Ricardo Rodriguez (hip), 60-day DL; RHP Jeff Zimmerman (elbow), 60-day DL; OF Donnie Sadler (back), day-to-day.