video thumbnail

TEX@OAK: Young's base knock puts Texas on the board

OAKLAND -- Matt Harrison said he was "very disappointed" in what happened on Sunday afternoon at the Coliseum. Manager Ron Washington wasn't happy about it, either, but made it clear he is not disappointed in Harrison.

"I'm never disappointed in Matt Harrison," Washington said after a 7-2 loss to the Athletics. "He just didn't get it done. He's certainly got to do better and he knows it. It just wasn't there today."

It wasn't there for a second straight start and the Rangers have now lost five of their last seven games. He pitched just 1 2/3 innings Sunday after throwing three innings in his last start. He allowed four runs on six hits and two walks against the A's while facing just 12 hitters before David Bush took over.

Harrison began the season with a three-game winning streak and a 1.23 ERA but is now 0-3 with an 11.23 ERA in his last three starts. He allowed seven runs over three innings in his previous start against the Blue Jays on Tuesday in Arlington.

"I just started the same way as the last game," Harrison said. "I felt good warming up and felt good in my last [between starts] bullpen. I just wasn't able to keep the ball down. I got out of my mechanics, didn't stay focused and started missing over the middle of the plate."

Harrison watched video after it was over and said he was pulling his head off instead of keeping it going downhill toward the plate. That made his sinker and changeup come back over the plate instead of diving down and away against right-handed hitters.

Bottom line, though, is he just wasn't very good for the second straight start.

"He just didn't have it again today," Washington said. "Once again, it was command. Giving up base hits ... I have no problem with that. But he just didn't have his command.

"Matt Harrison threw three good ballgames for us. He's healthy. He'll get the ball next time. I don't think anybody in this clubhouse feels more badly about not giving us a chance than Matt."

Athletics starter Gio Gonzalez did have it, holding the Rangers to two runs in 6 2/3 innings. The Rangers had won six of eight with a left-hander starting for the other team. But Gonzalez is now 4-1 with a 2.18 ERA in nine career appearances, including seven starts, against the Rangers.

"He's always got good stuff," Rangers outfielder David Murphy said. "From the left side, he's tough crossing with his fastball. He's got velocity and his curveball is as good of one as any left-hander in the league. You know what's coming but he's tough. He just beat us. It's tough to get in a hole early and try to fight back against a guy like that."

Harrison ran into trouble right away on his second pitch. Athletics leadoff hitter Coco Crisp took a called strike and then lined a double to deep left-center.

Daric Barton then drew a walk and Conor Jackson doubled into the right-field corner, bringing home two runs. Josh Willingham's fly ball to deep right moved Jackson to third and, with the Rangers' infield playing in, Kurt Suzuki smacked a grounder through the left side to bring home the third run.

Harrison picked off Suzuki, which helped him get out of the inning with no more damage. But he was back in trouble in the second when Andy LaRoche doubled to left with one out. He scored on a two-out single by Crisp. Harrison was done after a double by Barton and a walk to Jackson loaded the bases.

"I think he was just falling behind and we were getting into good hitter's counts," LaRoche said. "He was having to throw it, and we were fouling off a bunch of pitches, going deep in the count and seeing a lot of pitches off him ... got his pitch count up. Walked some guys and we got some clutch hits ... obviously, some big hitting from some of our guys."

Bush struck out Willingham to end the second but the Athletics scored two more off him in the third, making it 6-0. At that point the Rangers were still looking for their first hit and Harrison was in the clubhouse looking for answers.

"I just need to go back and keep it simple," Harrison said. "Don't think about too much or dwell on what's happened the past two starts. I need to go back to where I was in Spring Training and trust my stuff. I'm not trusting my stuff." Comments