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Preview: Athletics (65-39) at Rangers (42-63)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Game: 4
Venue: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
Date: June 20, 2013 2:05 PM EDT
  

Considering their recent struggles at the plate, the Texas Rangers have been encouraged about the way they've hit the ball against the Oakland Athletics this week.

Coming off their second big offensive performance in the series, the host Rangers look to take the four-game set from AL West-leading A's on Thursday.

Nelson Cruz and David Murphy each had three hits and Justin Grimm lasted five innings to snap a 17-game winless streak by Texas starting pitchers in Wednesday's 9-4 win over Oakland.

The Rangers (40-32) totaled eight runs and averaged 7.2 hits during a season-high six-game losing streak before winning 8-7 in Monday's series opener with the A's (43-31). After being held to three hits in Tuesday's 6-2 defeat, Texas pounded out 14 to cut Oakland's division lead to two games.

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"I think we can go out there now and be competitive,' Texas manager Ron Washington said. "I think we got the monkey off our back as far as having a total drought offensively. I think some guys are starting do some things all throughout the lineup.

"We start getting more consistent, then we'll get back to playing our baseball.'

Cruz is 6 for 12 with two homers and six RBIs in the series after going 3 for 20 with six strikeouts in the first six games versus Oakland this season.

Murphy was 7 for 50 (.140) in his previous 14 games before he broke out Wednesday.

The Rangers hope to fare better than they did last month against scheduled Oakland starter A.J. Griffin (5-6, 3.93 ERA). The right-hander yielded a home run and struck out eight without a walk in seven innings of a 5-1 victory May 13 to improve to 1-0 with a 2.87 ERA in three starts versus Texas.

Griffin, however, has allowed four runs in four of his last five starts. He served up a grand slam to 41-year-old catcher Henry Blanco in a 4-0 loss to Seattle on Saturday to fall to 0-3 with a 4.15 ERA in his last four outings.

"I was just trying for weak contact and Henry was looking for a well-placed fastball and he hit it,' Griffin said. "I watched the video and the pitch went right where (catcher John) Jaso set up, up and in. At the end of the day it's four runs on one pitch."

Chris Young hit a three-run homer and had two of the six hits Wednesday for the A's, who have dropped four of six. Young is batting .192, but is 6 for his last 12 with two home runs and four RBIs.

Young is 0 for 6 with four strikeouts against Texas' Josh Lindblom (0-2, 5.94), who makes his fourth start this season after he allowed four runs on two homers in six innings of a 6-1 loss to Toronto on Saturday.

"Those two pitches, that's been the Achilles' heel of our pitching staff lately," Washington told the Rangers' official website. "One or two pitches cost us."

The right-hander gave four runs and seven hits, including a homer to Seth Smith, over 4 2-3 innings of a 9-2 loss to the A's on May 20.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 SERIES AT A GLANCE
GAME 1
Athletics at Rangers
Mon, Jun 17 Final 7 to 8
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 2
Athletics at Rangers
Tue, Jun 18 Final 6 to 2
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 3
Athletics at Rangers
Wed, Jun 19 Final 4 to 9
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 4
Athletics at Rangers
Thu, Jun 20 Final 3 to 4
 Boxscores    Recaps

 CURRENT LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 OAK  -107   +145   9.5 
 TEX  -103   -165   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CURRENT SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 OAK  -110   +150   9.5 
 TEX  +100   -170   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 OAK  71%   37%   52% 
 TEX  29%   63%   48% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 MLB HEAD TO HEAD
 Jun 19, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 OAK 4 Over: 13 
 TEX 9 Cover: +105 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Jun 18, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 OAK 6 Cover: +165 
 TEX 2 Push: 8 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Jun 17, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 OAK 7 Over: 15 
 TEX 8 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 May 22, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 OAK 1 Under: 4 
 TEX 3 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 May 21, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 OAK 1 Cover: +185 
 TEX 0 Under: 1 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 May 20, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 OAK 9 Cover: +120 
 TEX 2 Over: 11 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 May 15, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TEX 6 Cover: +100 
 OAK 2 Under: 8 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 May 14, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TEX 6 Cover: +100 
 OAK 5 Over: 11 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 May 13, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TEX 1 Under: 6 
 OAK 5 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Mar 14, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TEX 6 Cover: +100 
 OAK 2 Over: 8 
 Tools:   Recaps

 MLB PREVIEWS
 Thursday, Jun 20
 
    Pirates at Reds
12:35 PM EDT
    White Sox at Twins
1:10 PM EDT
    Athletics at Rangers
2:05 PM EDT
    Brewers at Astros
2:10 PM EDT
    Red Sox at Tigers
7:05 PM EDT
    Rays at Yankees
7:05 PM EDT
    Rockies at Nationals
7:05 PM EDT
    Mets at Braves
7:10 PM EDT
    Cubs at Cardinals
8:15 PM EDT
    Mariners at Angels
10:05 PM EDT
    Dodgers at Padres
10:10 PM EDT
    Marlins at Giants
10:15 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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