The Texas Rangers didn’t need much production at the plate to win their fifth straight game. Their lineup, though, will need to put up more runs if Brandon McCarthy(notes) continues to struggle against the Oakland Athletics.
With a chance to win six in a row for the first time in two seasons, McCarthy looks to avoid another poor outing versus the Athletics in the finale of a two-game set Thursday.
A 3-2 victory over Oakland on Wednesday night gave Texas (15-12) nine wins in its last 12 games and five straight. The Rangers haven’t won six in a row since September 2007, a stretch that included a three-game sweep of the A’s.
“We’re playing good baseball right now,” Texas manager Ron Washington said. “We’re no longer the hunters. For at least one day, we’re the hunted.”
Strong play on the road has helped Texas bounce back from a poor start, as it’s won four straight and six of seven away from Rangers Ballpark. Texas averaged 5.8 runs in six road games prior to Wednesday, when it went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position.
The Rangers have given McCarthy (3-0, 4.67 ERA) plenty of run support this season, scoring 33 times for the right-hander in his five starts. Texas may need to pile up runs again Thursday, as McCarthy is 0-2 with a 9.39 ERA in two starts and two relief appearances against the A’s.
McCarthy, though, is coming off his best start of the season, giving up one run and three hits in five innings as Texas beat Chicago 9-6 on Saturday night. He was removed from the game because he tightened up during a 70-minute rain delay.
Young has at least one hit in nine of his last 10 contests at Oakland.
Rangers rookie shortstop Elvis Andrus(notes) came up big in his first game there Wednesday, hitting his second home run of the season. It was the first RBI in 16 games for Andrus, who had two hits for the third time in four games.
Kurt Suzuki(notes) was one of the few bright spots for Oakland (9-16) in the series opener, hitting a two-run double, but he may not catch Trevor Cahill(notes) (0-2, 4.50) on Thursday afternoon after playing Wednesday evening.
Rookie utilityman Landon Powell(notes) will likely be Cahill’s battery mate as Oakland tries to snap a four-game losing streak. Cahill will take the mound for an A’s team that has not had a starter go more than six innings in the last 13 games.
The 21-year-old right-hander didn’t receive a decision despite pitching six strong innings against Seattle on Saturday night, allowing one run and seven hits in a 3-2 Oakland win.
Cahill has given two earned runs or fewer in four of his five starts. This will be his first appearance against Texas.