Gonzalez shuts down Rangers
Oakland lefty keeps Texas at bay with curveball
OAKLAND -- Gio Gonzalez doesn't throw anything straight."His ball darts around," manager Bob Geren said. "Even if you set up straight, he's not going to go over the middle." Kurt Suzuki set up straight, then Gonzalez let his stuff take care of the rest. Gonzalez matched a career-high by going 6 2/3 innings, allowing three hits while striking out seven to lead the A's to a 6-0 win over the Rangers on Tuesday night. The 23-year-old rookie had his curveball going. Texas knew it, but couldn't do anything about it. "That curveball was a ball," said Rangers designated hitter Andruw Jones. "We knew that at the beginning of the game, and we couldn't lay off it. ... Sharp bite? Yes, but 90 percent of the time, it's a ball." "I'm just excited I was throwing first-pitch strikes," Gonzalez said. "The defense was unbelievable. ... We just set up down the middle and I threw." Gonzalez is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in 18 2/3 innings over a three-start stretch against the Yankees, Red Sox and now, the Rangers. "Those are three high-quality-hitting clubs," Geren said. "He's been simplifying his whole game plan. ... It's what he needs. He's very young. He needs that confidence." Derek Holland wasn't as sharp as Gonzalez. The Rangers' rookie allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits and walked four before he was chased after 4 1/3 innings. Mark Ellis led the A's offense, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs. He's riding a season-high nine-game hitting streak, batting .389 with nine RBIs over that stretch. Rajai Davis went 0-for-3, snapping his career-high eight-game hitting streak. He walked twice, though, scoring a run in the fifth after racing from first to third on an errant pickoff attempt by Holland. Tommy Everidge was 2-for-3 and scored twice. He's reached base in all eight of his games with the A's and is batting .290 through 31 at-bats. Dallas Braden has been scratched from Wednesday's start with an inflamed left ankle. Chad Reineke will be called up from Triple-A Sacramento to pitch in his place. Geren doesn't expect Braden to land on the disabled list. "No, I don't think so," he said. "I hope it's just one start." The team hasn't decided on the corresponding roster move. "We'll talk about it in the morning," Geren said.
Adam Loberstein is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.