For one night, the Texas Rangers' revamped lineup got the job done against the Oakland Athletics. Delivering another big offensive performance in this AL West matchup could be a challenge against Gio Gonzalez.
The Rangers look to win two straight for the first time in more than two weeks Wednesday when they conclude their series with the A's in Arlington.
After Monday's 7-2 series-opening loss to Oakland (19-18) marked the eighth time his team scored three or fewer runs during a 4-11 stretch, Texas manager Ron Washington overhauled his lineup Tuesday, with only shortstop Elvis Andrus remaining in the same spot (second) from the previous day.
Although Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz remain sidelined, the club's 29th different lineup worked, with the Rangers (19-18) pounding out 11 hits in a 7-2 victory.
Julio Borbon, batting leadoff for the first time this season, went 1 for 5 to extend his hitting streak to 10, while Michael Young - starting as the cleanup hitter for the first time in his 12-year career - was 3 for 4 with a double and a two-run triple.
Even Adrian Beltre, who did not start Monday and was 4 for 31 in nine games this month, broke out of his slump with a two-run homer while batting out of the sixth spot for the first time in 2011.
"If that's going to work, I'll be happy to be hitting sixth," Beltre said. "I don't make up the lineup. I just hope I'm going to be in there - it doesn't matter where I hit. The lineup worked, so we'll probably do it again."
Regardless of Wednesday's lineup, the Rangers will try to post back-to-back wins for the first time since a three-game sweep of Kansas City from April 22-24.
Texas, though, could have a tough test in the series finale with the A's giving the ball to Gonzalez (4-2, 2.68 ERA) to conclude their six-game trip.
The left-hander opened the club's stretch away from home with seven strong innings in Friday's 3-2 win over the Royals. Gonzalez's curveball was sharp and he was hitting the mid-90s with his fastball.
"Gio had pretty electric stuff," manager Bob Geren told the A's official website.
The Rangers have seen that. Gonzalez improved to 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA in seven starts against Texas with seven strikeouts and two runs allowed in 6 2-3 innings of a 7-2 home win May 1.
Matt Harrison (3-4, 4.35), who had his shortest career start in that loss after giving up four runs and six hits in 1 2-3 innings, will get the ball again for the Rangers on Wednesday.
The left-hander has an 8.31 ERA while losing a career-high four straight starts. In his last outing, Harrison walked a career-high-tying five and surrendered three runs over six innings of Friday's 4-1 loss to the New York Yankees.
Harrison was 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA in three starts against Oakland prior to the May 1 matchup.
Coco Crisp could return to the A's lineup for the series finale against the left-hander, but Geren may give Ryan Sweeney another start in center field after he raised his batting average to .364 with Tuesday's 2-for-4 effort.
Borbon is 4 for 7 against Gonzalez, while Beltre has seven hits - including two home runs - in 16 at_bats in the matchup.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved