Defense takes lumps in A’s 6-1 loss to Rangers

Ben Enos still in the captain’s chair for Joe Stiglich

The postgame thoughts from tonight’s 6-1 loss to Texas were about as you would expect from the A’s clubhouse. After the way they’ve played of late, the party line that ‘it’s just one loss’ is an easy one to fall back on and probably justified.

What made tonight’s effort a tad different was a series of defensive lapses, a few of which won’t show up in the box score. The Rangers took control in the third and fourth innings, and got plenty of help along the way. A’s starter Bartolo Colon was a step or two late to cover first on a two-out grounder by Craig Gentry, and Gentry reached. Shortly thereafter, Colon threw away a pickoff attempt, sending Gentry all the way to third. Elvis Andrus got the big hit, singling in Gentry.

The Rangers scored three more in the fourth, one coming on a solo home run by Adrian Beltre that is still whistling through the night air here in Oakland. Nelson Cruz had a big blow with a line drive double to right that glanced off Brandon Moss’ glove. Manager Bob Melvin said after the game that if Moss had caught it, that’s probably a great catch we’re talking about and I tend to agree. What was a bit more troubling was the bunt single by Gentry later in the inning where the A’s were again late in covering first, allowing Gentry to reach. That didn’t yield any extra runs (one would’ve scored on the play anyway), but it was a bit surprising.

So, though the offense didn’t swing it particularly well tonight, I would guess equal share might be given to the defense. On a team with the best ERA in baseball, the defense has to stand out in the positive sense.

Joe Stiglich