The Texas Rangers defeated the Oakland Athletics 2-0 on Saturday, April 23, thanks to a critical single by Brad Miller in the eighth inning that drove in two runs.
Adolis Garcia and Willie Calhoun opened the winning rally by chasing Frankie Montas (2-2) with consecutive one-out singles. Miller lined a 1-1 pitch to the left after Domingo Acevedo retired pinch-hitter, Jonah Heim on a groundout. Garcia scored easily, but pinch-runner Eli White was thrown out at home by left fielder Tony Kemp’s powerful throw.
After losing its first four series, Texas used this move to secure its first series win. After losing five games in a row, the Rangers had won three in a row.
Rangers vs. Athletics game overview
After several bad starts, Rangers starter Martin Pérez was equally sharp. In his second stint with the Rangers, Pérez pitched the longest game of the season thus far, throwing six scoreless innings.
Both Pérez and A’s starter Frankie Montas breezed past the opposing lineups, but the Rangers broke through in the top of the eighth inning. After a replay determined that A’s catcher Sean Murphy blocked the plate and broke the league’s slide rule, Brad Miller hit a two-out line drive to left field, scoring Garcia and later White.
Pérez didn’t contribute much as reliever Brock Burke did, but the Rangers couldn’t have won without his six scoreless innings. He contributed to the game on Saturday with 87 pitches, and his last pitch was a swing-and-miss by Murphy to close out the sixth.
In the fifth inning, the A’s made two double plays, including a remarkable 4-6-3-5 to end the match. Calhoun smashed a clean grounder to Oakland second baseman Christian Lopes, who threw to shortstop Nick Allen for an out with runners on first and second.
Immediately after Allen’s wide relay to the first base took Christian Bethancourt off the bag, Allen alertly threw a quick throw to third baseman Sheldon Neuse, who tagged Kole Calhoun as he scrambled back to the bag shortly after. Rangers’ manager Chris Woodward was a little perplexed when the call was upheld after a quick review.
Mark Kotsay objects decision by umpire
In between innings, A’s manager Mark Kotsay objected and was removed from a game for arguing a call on the field. Miller singled to the left and drove in Garcia, while at the end of the inning, White appeared to be thrown out at the plate. Texas contested the decision.
White clearly was out on the review, but umpires ruled out that Murphy, A’s catcher, was blocking the plate. The Rangers had already lost a challenge, they could not file an appeal. The umpires started a chief crew review and overturned the initial call, concluding that A’s catcher Sean Murphy had unfairly blocked the plate. Therefore, the run made by White was counted.
As soon as the top of the eighth inning came to an end, Kotsay came out to argue, and he was promptly ejected from the game by Brian Knight. After the match, Kotsay and Murphy are almost sure to have something to say about the poor decision made.
Kotsay, a former Major League Baseball player, is just getting started in his managerial career, and there will be many more ejections in the years to come. It’s just a regular aspect of the work.