|12:05 PM PT1:05 PM MT2:05 PM CT3:05 PM ET15:05 ET19:05 GMT3:05 12:05 PM MST2:05 PM EST2:35 PM VEN23:05 UAE2:05 PM CT, September 15, 2019
Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas Attendance: 26,064
Surging A's go for sweep of Rangers
Left-hander Sean Manaea will make his third start since returning from shoulder surgery when the Oakland Athletics go for a sweep of their three-game series with the Texas Rangers on Sunday afternoon in Arlington, Texas.
Manaea (1-0, 0.75 ERA) went 12-9 with a 3.59 ERA in 27 starts in 2018 and pitched a no-hitter in April against eventual World Series winner Boston. But he was sidelined in late August and underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder on Sept. 19.
After going 3-3 with a 4.71 ERA in eight rehab starts in the minors, Manaea rejoined the A's on Sept. 1 and has been dominant in both of his starts. The 6-foot-5, 245-pounder allowed just one hit in five innings in his 2019 debut against the New York Yankees on Sept. 1, walking three and striking out five. He followed that up seven days later in Oakland by picking up the win in a 3-1 victory over Detroit, allowing two hits and one run in seven innings while striking out 10.
Manaea, who is 4-2 with a 3.50 ERA in nine career starts against Texas (74-76), will be opposed by right-hander Jonathan Hernandez (1-0, 1.93) who will be making just his second major league start and sixth career appearance. He made his first start in a 9-4 win at Baltimore on Sept. 7, when he allowed three runs (one earned) on two hits and two walks in 2 2/3 innings. He struck out three and did not receive a decision.
Hernandez will be going against an Oakland team that has hit nine homers in the first two games of the series and needs just one more to tie the franchise single-season mark of 243 set in 1996.
"Our offense is just kind of relentless right now," A's manager Bob Melvin said after his team slugged four more home runs in an 8-6 victory Saturday.
Perhaps even more impressive about Saturday night's victory was the fact it came against All-Star left-hander Mike Minor (13-9) who allowed seven runs on nine hits -- including home runs by Matt Chapman, Josh Phegley and Mark Canha -- over five innings.
"It definitely wasn't typical Mike," said Texas manager Chris Woodward. "He just missed on some pitches he doesn't normally miss on, and obviously the homers."
Oakland is 5-1 on a road trip that began with a four-game set against American League West-leading Houston and has won five in a row and 10 of its last 12 games. The A's (89-60) hold a half-game lead over Tampa Bay for the first wild-card spot and a three-game edge over slumping Cleveland for the second wild card.
The one negative for the A's on the Texas road trip has been the performance of ace right-hander Mike Fiers, who left Saturday night's game after allowing three runs in just 1 2/3 innings with what was called right arm nerve irritation. This came five days after the shortest outing of his major league career at Houston where he gave up nine runs on nine hits, including five home runs, in one-plus inning in a 15-0 loss.
Fiers said part of his right (throwing) hand went numb while throwing a cutter to Rougned Odor. He stayed in after shaking the arm and talking with Melvin and trainer Nick Paparesta, but then allowed a two-run homer to Odor and a walk to Delino DeShields before getting pulled from the game.
"It's kind of scary but it's happened before," Fiers said. "More so on my curveball but this year it happened in my game against the Yankees, same pitch, the cutter, and I had to wait for some feeling to come back in my hand. So it was the same thing today only earlier in the game."
"You can't be too careful with a guy like that," Melvin said. "It's a concern because he's our No. 1 guy. We hope everything works out in the next couple of days."
--Field Level Media
Updated September 15, 2019