Ron Washington spent the previous 11 seasons doing his best to help the Oakland Athletics win. Friday he’ll try to do just the opposite.
The first-year Texas manager hopes a victory over his former employer will end the Rangers’ recent skid as the AL West rivals open a three-game series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Washington served as third base coach for the Athletics the last 10 seasons after spending one year as their first base coach. After the A’s fired Ken Macha at the end of last season, Washington interviewed for Oakland’s managerial job but was instead hired by Texas on Nov. 6.
“Of course I’ll have a little emotion working,” Washington told the Rangers’ official Web site. “I want to beat them bad, just like they want to beat me badly. It could be anybody, and I’d still want to beat them. We just have to play good baseball. If we do, I like our chances.”
The A’s are also looking forward to Friday’s meeting.
“It’s always good to see Wash,” Oakland second baseman Mark Ellis told the Athletics’ official Web site. “It’s pretty strange to see him in another uniform, but we saw him this spring, so it’s not totally new to us.”
Washington’s arrival has yet to spark a big turnaround for the Rangers (6-9), who are returning home after a 2-4 road trip. They mustered just five hits in a 6-4 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday, one day after getting no-hit by Mark Buehrle in a 6-0 defeat.
Sammy Sosa was a bright spot in the three-game series, going 4-for-10 with two homers - including the 592nd of his career in Thursday’s game - and four RBIs, but was unhappy with the outcome.
“I came here to win. We played a good game today. It’s not about what I do, it’s about the team,” Sosa said.
Texas will try to avoid its second three-game losing streak of the season when Brandon McCarthy (1-2, 7.07 ERA) takes the ball on Friday looking to bounce back from the shortest of his 15 career starts. The right-hander allowed six runs and six hits, including three homers, in two innings of a 14-6 loss to Seattle on Sunday.
“It wasn’t one of the more positive outings I’ll have this year,” said McCarthy, who has pitched 3 2-3 scoreless innings of relief in his career versus the Athletics.
He is part of a rotation that has posted a 5.62 ERA this season, as opposed to the 2.07 mark Oakland’s starters have compiled. Joe Blanton (1-0, 4.00) takes the mound for the A’s on Friday.
The right-hander allowed three runs and five hits over 6 2-3 innings, but didn’t record a decision in Saturday’s 4-3, 13-inning loss to the New York Yankees on Saturday.
He is 4-2 with a 4.91 ERA in nine career games versus the Rangers - 4-0 in the last five starts against them.
Oakland (8-7) won its season-high third straight game Wednesday, beating the Los Angeles Angels 3-0 to sweep a two-game series. Third baseman Eric Chavez drove in two runs Wednesday, and has 25 career homers and 84 RBIs versus the Rangers - his most RBIs against any opponent.
A’s center fielder Milton Bradley has missed the last six games with a strained left hamstring, but could return to action Friday night.
This contest opens a five-game road trip for the A’s, who went 3-4 while opening the season away from home. Texas is 4-2 in Arlington as it begins a five-game homestand.
The Rangers held a 10-9 advantage in the 2006 season series between these teams.