Even in defeat, Texas rookie Kameron Loe is impressing manager Buck Showalter.
Loe will try to bounce back from his first loss as a starter when the Rangers open a four-game series with the visiting Seattle Mariners.
Loe, a 6-foot-8 right-hander who made his first 40 appearances out of the bullpen, began stating his case as a potential starter for years to come by winning his first three starts for the Rangers from Aug. 26-Sept. 5.
The 24-year-old hurler yielded just two runs over 19 innings during his win streak, struck out nine and walked two. He did not fare as well Saturday, surrendering five runs and eight hits over 6 2-3 innings in a 5-4 loss to Oakland.
Despite the defeat, Showalter was impressed with Loe’s grittiness after he allowed a second-inning grand slam to fellow rookie Dan Johnson.
“I was happy with the outing, as I was with his last one,” Showalter said. “We had opportunities to make the grand slam not matter.”
Loe also shook off the loss.
“It was just one bad inning, one bad pitch,” he said. “I threw a two-seamer up a little more than I wanted and he got it.”
The Rangers avoided a three-game sweep by Baltimore with Wednesday’s 7-6, 10-inning victory.
The Mariners are coming off a surprising sweep of the AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels, including Wednesday’s 10-9 victory.
Raul Ibanez homered and drove in four runs for the last-place Mariners, and Richie Sexson also connected as Seattle squandered three leads before Yuniesky Betancourt’s game-winning RBI single in the ninth.
The Mariners haven’t won four straight since a four-game sweep of the Angels from July 7-10.