Cruz’s hit in eighth lifts Texas over hurting A’s
April 29, 2009
ARLINGTON, Texas ” For the Oakland Athletics, it was a loss multiplied.
Nomar Garciaparra and Mark Ellis appear headed to the disabled list with calf injuries sustained in Oakland’s 5-4 loss to the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.
Also forced to the A’s bench was rookie left-hander Brett Anderson with a blistered finger and reliever Santiago Casilla with a sore ankle.
“This was the weirdest game. Very strange,” said Ellis, who was hurt running out a leadoff grounder in the third, an inning after Garciaparra also got hurt leading off.
“A rough night. Not only the loss, but losing four guys,” said Bobby Crosby, who went 2 for 3 after initially replacing Garciaparra at third base and moving over to second when Ellis was hurt.
Nelson Cruz hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth to make up for a costly error, and the Rangers (10-10) won for the fourth time in five games to get back to .500 for the first time since the opening weekend of the season.
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Hank Blalock reached on a two-base error in the eighth when his sharp grounder went under the glove of first baseman Jason Giambi into the right-field corner. Cruz followed with a single to left off Michael Wuertz (1-1), who took over after Casilla left one pitch into the eighth.
“We don’t mind physical errors. It happens,” Rangers third baseman Michael Young said. “A tight spot in the game, we love looking up and seeing (Cruz) come to the plate.”
And making up for the error in the fifth, when the game was tied 1-all before Cruz put his glove down in right to field Orlando Cabrera’s grounder and the ball instead scooted past to the wall. Ryan Sweeney scored from first and Cabrera went to third. Giambi then followed with a slow roller for an RBI infield single.
Garciaparra said he felt his calf tighten running down the line. Ellis felt a pop as he left the batter’s box and didn’t even run all the way to first base before getting help from a trainer to get back to the dugout.
“I don’t know what’s in our water today,” Garciaparra said.
A’s third baseman Eric Chavez, who has played only three of the past 12 games, tested his sore right elbow with a pregame infield session and batting practice. Instead of possibly going to the DL, Chavez may be back in two or three games.
“We will be more patient with him due to the circumstances tonight,” manager Bob Geren said.
Kevin Millwood (2-2) scattered 10 hits over eight innings, allowing four runs ” two earned ” with five strikeouts.
Millwood appeared to be hurt in the sixth, but only had a busted fingernail.
“He needed a manicure,” manager Ron Washington said.
Frank Francisco worked a perfect ninth for his sixth save in six chances, and 23rd consecutive scoreless appearance.
Sweeney led off the seventh with his first homer to tie it at 4 after Texas had gotten three runs in the sixth after Anderson left.
Blalock had an RBI single with two outs in the first, then Anderson faced the minimum 13 batters through the fifth inning ” thanks to a double play.
Marlon Byrd reached leading off the sixth on a grounder through shortstop Orlando Cabrera’s legs for an error. Anderson then had a 2-0 count on Young when a team trainer was summoned to the mound and the rookie then left with him.
Reliever Andrew Bailey threw six consecutive balls, walking Young and then Andruw Jones. After Blalock’s foul popout, Cruz drew a bases-loaded walk and Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a two-run single.
Anderson struck out five, all on called third strikes. Only one of the three runs against him were earned.
Notes: Geren shuffled his rotation, moving RHP Trevor Cahill from Wednesday to Saturday and LHP Josh Outman, who had been in the bullpen, from Saturday to Wednesday. … Texas RHP Josh Rupe, designated for assignment April 18, cleared waivers and has been sent to extended spring training before going to Triple-A Oklahoma to be in that rotation.