A's finally lose to Rangers
Raul Alcantara’s scoreless streak as a starter came to a halt Friday night, as did the A’s winning streak against the Rangers.
Shin-Soo Choo hit a two-run homer in the fifth, the last batter Alcantara would face, during a three-run Texas rally that made the difference in the Rangers’ 5-3 win at Globe Life Park. That halted a string of seven consecutive A’s wins over Texas, their most since 2005.
The A’s trailed 5-0 in the seventh when rookie Renato Nunez connected for his first major league homer, a three-run shot off Martin Perez that pulled the A’s to within 5-3. Nunez, who came in 2-for-10 in six games since being called up, drilled a 1-2 fastball over the wall in right-center.
Alcantara (1-2) came in having tossed a combined 8 2/3 scoreless innings in emergency spot starts for Sean Manaea and Jharel Cotton. He allowed four runs over 4 1/3 innings on Friday, walking two and striking out two.
Adventures at third
Third baseman Matt Chapman, who has impressed greatly defensively since being called up from Triple-A, was charged with a throwing error and could have been saddled with another error that led to two Rangers runs in the first. Nomar Mazara hit a hard bouncer his way that took a tough hop and got by Chapman. Two runs scored on the play, which originally was scored an error but was quickly changed to a two-run single.
Unlike Thursday, when he was in the bullpen during the national anthem, A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell knelt in front of the A’s dugout for the anthem Friday and received louder boos than the night before from the Rangers crowd. Maxwell heard it as he rose to his feet and returned to the dugout right after the anthem, though the boos were only a brief burst. He was out of the lineup but entered the game as a pinch hitter the seventh and grounded out. He did stand during a playing of “God Bless America” during the seventh inning stretch. A security guard stood right next to him facing the crowd.
Fowler recovering well
The A’s are setting up an offseason rehab plan for outfielder Dustin Fowler, a key piece they got from the Yankees in the Sonny Gray trade. Fowler suffered a ruptured patella tendon in his right knee in June while playing in his very first major league game with New York. He’s been in Oakland periodically with the team while rehabbing.
A’s manager Bob Melvin said Fowler had a follow-up appointment scheduled Friday with Dr. Charles Bush-Joseph, the Chicago-based specialist who performed his surgery. He’ll then return home to Georgia before returning to the A’s later in the winter. There’s hope within the organization that Fowler will be healthy enough in spring training to compete for the center field job. “They’re very happy with where he is right now,” Melvin said.