Rangers-Athletics Preview

The Associated Press

Adrian Beltre and Mitch Moreland are hitting the ball well of late.

That's precisely why the Texas Rangers are trying to win back-to-back road games against the Oakland Athletics for the first time in almost two years.

Beltre and Moreland attempt to continue their impressive production at the plate in the conclusion of this three-game series Wednesday.

Beltre is hitting .385 with four homers and 13 RBIs in 12 games, raising his season average 57 points to .271. He's been even better over the past six contests, going 12 for 27 with three homers and seven RBIs.

Moreland is also producing, compiling a .395 average with eight RBIs while hitting six of his nine homers over the last 11 games. All three of his hits in this series have left the park, while driving in four runs.

The first baseman homered twice Tuesday, and his solo shot in the 10th inning after Beltre provided his own proved to be the difference in a 6-5 win Tuesday night at Oakland (20-21) that ended a five-game losing streak there.

"They've had a good run against us here," said closer Joe Nathan, who got out of a bases-loaded jam to get the save Tuesday. "They're a tough ballclub and they know how to win games."

Texas (25-14) has dropped nine of the past 12 visits to O.co Coliseum since winning five straight there from Aug. 12-Sept. 21, 2011.

Beltre could prove vital again since he's hitting .447 over his last nine games against the A's, including four hits in this series.

Alexi Ogando (3-2, 3.09 ERA) may be looking for some redemption in his first appearance at Oakland since a relief appearance in a 12-5 loss in the regular-season finale Oct. 3. He gave up four runs while managing just one out in the eighth, as Texas completed its late-season collapse that handed the AL West title to the A's.

The right-hander is 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA in his past five road starts and struggled with his command while not getting a decision in Friday's 4-2 win at Houston. He gave up two runs in 5 2-3 innings, but one scored on one of his two wild pitches while he matched his career high with four walks.

His only career start against the A's came at home on Sept. 10, 2011, allowing five runs - three earned - and hitting a batter in five innings of an 8-7 loss.

Oakland has rotated wins and losses over the past four games, but may get a lift if Coco Crisp is back in the lineup after a strained left hamstring landed him on the disabled list May 1.

The center fielder is expected to be activated, and he's 6 for 19 with four extra-base hits while adding seven RBIs and four steals over his last five games versus Texas.

Daniel Straily (1-1, 7.06) is expected to start after being tagged for six runs while issuing four walks in five innings of a 6-3 loss at Seattle on Friday.

The rookie right-hander is 0-1 with an 8.84 ERA while serving up 10 homers over his last four home starts.

He allowed one earned run with eight strikeouts in 6 2-3 innings while not getting a decision in a 5-4 road loss in his only meeting with the Rangers on Sept. 24.

Josh Donaldson is 8 for 17 over his past four games with Texas, but he's 0 for 4 versus Ogando.

What to Read Next