Oakland (69-73) at Texas (66-74)

  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Sat Sep 8, 2007
  • TV: FSBA, KDFI
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Texas Rangers are doing their best to catch Oakland in the AL West. They have a good chance at continuing that push against struggling Athletics starter Chad Gaudin.

The Rangers go for their 11th win in 13 games when they meet Oakland in the middle contest of a three-game series on Saturday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Texas (66-74) trails the third-place Athletics (69-73) by two games in the division, but both squads have double-digit deficits in both the AL West and wild-card races. The Rangers, who have been in last place since April 25, improved to 10-2 since Aug. 25 with a 5-3 win over the A’s in Friday’s opener.

Frank Catalanotto hit a homer, triple and single in the win and drove in three runs, but didn’t get a chance to hit for the cycle in the eighth when manager Ron Washington pinch hit Sammy Sosa.

“I thought I’d get one more at-bat,” said Catalanotto, who is hitting .400 (10-for-25) versus the A’s this season. “You really don’t get that many opportunities to go for a cycle. I’m a bit disappointed, but maybe down the road there will be another opportunity. Our team won the game that’s what is important.”

The Rangers will look to extend their hot streak against Gaudin (10-10, 4.25), who is trying to bounce back from a rocky start. The right-hander allowed seven runs and eight hits, including two homers, over five innings in a 9-5 defeat to the Los Angeles Angels on Monday.

He is 2-7 with a 6.58 ERA in 11 starts since the All-Star break, becoming the first Oakland pitcher to lose seven or more decisions after the break since Dave Telgheder in 1996. Gaudin has allowed five or more earned runs in seven of those outings.

“I just didn’t really have it today,” Gaudin told the A’s official Web site after Monday’s loss. “A lot of balls up in the zone.”

The 24-year-old Gaudin is 1-4 with a 5.40 ERA in 13 career games, including four starts, against Texas. He allowed one earned run through 12 2-3 innings in his first two starts versus the Rangers this season, but has given up 12 runs in his last two outings spanning 11 innings.

Gaudin allowed seven runs over five innings in an 8-6 defeat to the Rangers on Aug. 7. Kason Gabbard (6-1, 4.07) opposed him in that meeting, allowing three runs over six innings for the win, and will do so again Saturday.

He improved to 1-1 with a 7.71 ERA in two career starts versus the A’s.

The Rangers have won five of Gabbard’s seven starts since acquiring him from Boston for Eric Gagne at the end of July. Gabbard has gone 2-1 with a 4.46 ERA in those outings and is looking to rebound from a shaky performance.

The left-hander allowed five runs and five hits over six innings on Sunday in an 8-7 win over the Los Angeles Angels. He did not get a decision as he walked five and threw just 56 of his 102 pitches for strikes.

Oakland’s Mark Ellis is 4-for-4 with a homer and a double lifetime versus Gabbard.

The A’s have lost nine of 13 overall. They have especially struggled on the road, going 1-6 in their last seven contests while getting outscored 55-26 and posting a 7.89 ERA.

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Starting Pitchers

C. Gaudin LAD vs. L. Mendoza KC
11-13 Record 1-0
4.42 ERA 2.25
154 K 7
100 BB 4
1.53 WHIP 1.06

Scoreboard

Saturday, Sep 8