08/28/10 6:53 PM ET
Upstarts Gonzalez, Lewis face off in key game
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
With Oakland's 5-0 win over Texas on Saturday, the Rangers lead the division by 8 1/2 games with just a little more than a month remaining and five more meetings between the clubs, including Sunday's rubber match at the Ballpark in Arlington.
Two pitchers who have been pleasant surprises for their clubs this season will be on display in the series finale with Rangers right-hander Colby Lewis squaring off against A's left-hander Gio Gonzalez.
Lewis, who is 9-10 with a 3.40 ERA this year, has been solid after spending the previous two seasons pitching in Japan. He also had been impressive recently with a 3.33 ERA over his past seven starts, but he has gone 0-5 over that span with the Rangers scoring just 12 runs.
"Sometimes you get pitchers who go out there and they don't have the luxury of getting runs, and just lately, Colby has been that guy," Rangers manager Ron Washington said recently. "We just haven't been able to put runs on the board for him. He battles and we battle, and the time is going to come when we're going to pick him up."
Gonzalez has also been impressive this season with an 11-8 record and 3.24 ERA after posting a 5.75 ERA last season. He always has had the stuff, but this year he's starting to harness it better, including over his past six outings in which he has a 1.76 ERA.
He certainly has impressed manager Bob Geren, especially after his previous outing, when he tossed seven scoreless innings against the Indians on Tuesday.
"I've had my fair share of messing up, too," Gonzalez admitted. "You just try not to overthink it. Bob told me after, 'That was good out there.' I told him, 'Little by little, I'm growing up. Little by little, I'm understanding the game and doing a better job of keeping my composure.' "
A's: Injured Anderson might not miss start
Left-hander Brett Anderson, who hyperextended his right knee in the second inning of Friday's 7-3 loss to Texas, said Saturday that he's hopeful he'll make his next start with the swelling in his knee going down. "It's a little tender," Anderson said Saturday, "but nothing major. I'll rest today, and after playing catch [Sunday] I should be good to go.
Rangers: Francisco on mend as postseason looms
Before Saturday's game, the Rangers placed reliever Frank Francisco on the 15-day disabled list with a strained muscle in his right rib cage and recalled Derek Holland from Triple-A Oklahoma City. There's no timetable for Francisco's return, but the Rangers are hoping he'll return in September as they make their push for the postseason. "No doubt about it, he's a huge piece," Washington said. "I still say we don't get this done without Frankie. I said that earlier, and I still say that."
Rangers third baseman Michael Young hit his 30th double of the season on Friday night and has at least 30 doubles in eight straight seasons. The only active player with a longer streak is Albert Pujols, who has at least 30 doubles in 10 straight seasons. ... Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton had his 24th three-hit game of the season on Friday to set a club record previously held by Mickey Rivers (1980) and Ivan Rodriguez (1997), who both had 23 three-hit games. ... A's Minor League outfielder Chris Carter was placed on Triple-A Sacramento's 15-day disabled list Saturday with a left thumb sprain, seemingly hindering his chances of being recalled when Major League rosters expand to 40 on Wednesday.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.