|Monday Night Baseball, Rangers at Athletics|
|Monday, 28 May 2007 14:30|
Ron Washington Returns
Ron Washington played a big role in the success of the Athletics during his 11 years as a coach in Oakland. His first season as manager of the Texas Rangers, though, hasn't been working out nearly as well.
The Rangers hope to avoid a season-high sixth straight loss Monday night when they open a three-game series against the Athletics in Washington's first game in Oakland as an opposing manager.
Oddsmakers have made Oakland -140 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 8.5 total runs (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 68% of bets for this game have been placed on Oakland -140 (View MLB Bet Percentages).
Washington was named the 17th full-time manager in Rangers history on Nov. 6, following 11 years on the Athletics' staff. He was Oakland's third base coach the last 10 seasons after spending one year as first base coach.
During Washington's time in Oakland, the A's reached the playoffs five times. The former shortstop helped Oakland lead the AL in fielding percentage in 2004 and 2005, and finish second in 2006.
Washington was credited for developing much of Oakland's young infield talent in the last decade, including six-time Gold Glove third baseman Eric Chavez, and former MVP and current Baltimore shortstop Miguel Tejada.
"The fans were good to me, but I'm really looking forward to winning games out there," Washington said of returning to Oakland.
Winning isn't something the Rangers (18-32) have done a lot of this season. They have lost 10 of their last 13 games and own the worst record in the AL.
Texas had a chance to avoid a sweep at the hands of major league-leading Boston on Sunday, but Akinori Otsuka gave up two runs in the eighth inning and Eric Gagne allowed another in the ninth of a 6-5 loss.
Otsuka entered the game with a 1.02 ERA and has been the Rangers' best reliever this season.
"We had our pitching lined up pretty well,'' Washington said. "I felt confident out there with two innings left. But this is baseball, you can't predict it.''
The Rangers squandered leads in all three games of the series, as the Red Sox completed their first three-game sweep in Texas since 1973.
Robinson Tejeda (4-4, 5.18 ERA) has been the Rangers' most reliable starter for most of this season, but has lost three of his last four starts. He threw 86 pitches in three-plus innings Wednesday in a 5-3 loss to Minnesota, allowing five runs and seven hits with three walks.
Tejeda didn't get a decision against Oakland on April 22, when he allowed three runs and nine hits in 6 1-3 innings. The right-hander had given up only one unearned run over 12 1-3 innings to win his two previous starts against the A's.
Like the Rangers, the Athletics (24-25) have struggled lately, losing five of seven to drop one game under .500 for the first time since they were 14-15 on May 5.
After an outstanding performance from Dan Haren led Oakland to a 3-2 win over Baltimore in Friday's series opener, starters Joe Kennedy and Joe Blanton combined to allow 15 runs over 10 2-3 innings as the A's lost the final two games to the Orioles.
Chad Gaudin (4-1, 2.58) looks to build on one of the best starts of his career. He scattered five hits over seven-plus innings, retiring 16 straight from the second to the seventh en route to a 4-0 win over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.
It was the second straight win for the right-hander, who has allowed three runs or fewer in eight of his 10 starts.
Gaudin limited the Rangers to one run over six innings on April 22 and was in line for the win before the bullpen gave up three runs in the eighth. He is 0-2 with a 4.38 ERA in 10 career appearances against Texas, nine of them coming in relief.
by: Dave Michaels - thespread.com – Email Us
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