Yu Darvish just can’t seem to figure out the Oakland Athletics.
Oakland tagged the right-hander for seven runs (four earned) in five innings, as the club rolled to a 10-6 win on Tuesday night at the O.co Coliseum. Darvish has now posted a 0-2 record with a 7.02 ERA in three starts this season against the A’s. Manager Bob Melvin doesn’t know exactly how to explain that success.
“We’re fortunate. His stuff’s so good. On top of that he’s got like seven different pitches.”
Ultimately, it could be due to the team’s patient approach.
“We’ve made him work, we’ve made him throw some pitches. But it’s not easy, he’s about as good as you get.”
With the win, the A’s now sit at 43-28 (.606), which ties the team with the San Francisco Giants for the best record in baseball.
The A’s grabbed a couple of runs in the second inning courtesy of a single from Alberto Callaspo and a throwing error by right fielder Alex Rios. The team added a third run an inning later when Stephen Vogt laced a single to right. Vogt ended the night 3-for-3 with 2 RBI and is hitting .359 (14-for-39) since arriving in Oakland on June 1.
“I felt like I saw him pretty well today,” said Vogt. “Fortunately I got three pithes to hit, fortunately hit all three of them.”
The A’s then stole a run in fourth thanks to the intelligent base running of Eric Sogard.
The second baseman drew a walk off Darvish and then swiped second and third base on consecutive pitches with the starter failing to pay attention as he took his leads. Sogard then scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Coco Crisp.
The Rangers pulled within a run in the fifth when Rougned Odor crushed a home run to right field, but Vogt promptly restored the lead to two runs with an RBI single in the bottom half of the inning. In the sixth, Derek Norris provided the A’s with some insurance.
Pinch-hitting for John Jaso, the catcher clubbed a three-run home run to left field to make it 8-3. Those extra runs provided vital, as the Rangers scored three times in the seventh thanks in part to a couple of defensive miscues by Josh Donaldson and Callaspo.
Tommy Milone improved to 5-3 as he worked 5.2 innings and allowed three runs on three hits while striking out three and walking one. The left-hander has now won a career-best five decisions in a row. As the left-hander explained, he’s just trying to “throw some good pithes.”
“Im just going out there, trying to stay within myself, not do too much. So far it’s been working the last couple of months. It’s just sticking with the same plan, just throw some good pitches.”
Melvin has clearly been impressed with Milone’s recent run of success.
“Over the last five or six starts, the number speak for themselves.”
“Tommy’s really on a roll. We feel really good about our chances when he takes the mound.”
Up next, the A’s take on the Rangers at 12:35 pm on Wednesday. Sonny Gray (6-3, 2.93 ERA) will be on the mound opposite of Nick Tepesch (2-2, 3.94 ERA).