Texas (46-42) at Oakland (46-43)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Oakland, CA
Temp: 70° F
  • Game info: 4:05 pm EDT Sat Jul 16, 2005
  • TV: FSSW
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Kenny Rogers will try to put two solid weeks of non-stop controversy behind him when the suddenly slumping Texas Rangers continue their four-game series with the surging Oakland Athletics.

The 40-year-old left-hander, who drew national attention for a run-in with two cameramen on June 29, was grilled by reporters, booed by fans and tagged for a two-run homer during the AL’s 7-5 win in Tuesday’s All-Star game at Detroit.

Suspended for 20 games and fined $50,000 for shoving the cameramen, Rogers was probably the most talked-about player in baseball the last two weeks.

He kept pitching while the players’ union appealed his penalties, but some thought he shouldn’t have attended the All-Star game.

“I didn’t want this to be a distraction and hopefully it hasn’t been,” Rogers said on Tuesday. “I think people that know me know I’m not the kind of guy to take the easy way out.”

Rogers should be able to settle down in Oakland, where he boasts a 19-1 record since 1994. Rogers had won 18 straight decisions in Oakland before a loss last Sept. 16, but rebounded with a 3-2 victory there on May 2.

Originally slated to start the series opener, Rogers was pushed back twice to give him extra rest after his All-Star appearance. He is expected to get word on his appeal on July 21, meaning this could be his last start before an extended break.

The Rangers’ vaunted lineup continued to fizzle Friday as Barry Zito carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning before Kevin Mench’s one-out homer. Zito ended up going eight as Oakland cruised to a 7-2 victory—its fifth win in a row.

In Thursday’s series opener, Rich Harden had his bid for a perfect game broken up by Alfonso Soriano’s one-out single in the eighth as the A’s posted a 6-0 win.

Eric Chavez and Nick Swisher homered for the A’s, who have won 15 of their last 18 games to pull within a half-game of second-place Texas in the AL West.

The Rangers had entered the All-Star break on a three-game winning streak.

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Starting Pitchers

K. Rogers Det vs. J. Blanton Pit
14-8 Record 12-12
3.46 ERA 3.53
87 K 116
53 BB 67
1.32 WHIP 1.22