HEADLINE

A’s Jackson hopes to end struggles vs. Rangers

The Sports Xchange

September 08, 2018 at 12:02 am.

OAKLAND, Calif. — Veteran right-hander Edwin Jackson hopes to stall his career-long struggles against the Texas Rangers when he attempts to deliver the Oakland Athletics a second consecutive win in the three-game series Saturday afternoon.

The A’s (85-57) will take the field 3 1/2 games behind first-place Houston (88-53) in the race for the American League West crown, and 3 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees (88-53) in the duel for the first wild-card spot in the AL.

The Astros will be at Boston with the same starting time as the A’s, while the Yankees aren’t scheduled to start until several hours later in a night game at Seattle.

Jackson (5-3, 2.91 ERA) will be facing the Rangers for the third time this season while still looking for his first effective outing against them.

He gave up a three-run home run to Robinson Chirinos in a 6-5 win over the Rangers in Texas in July. Jackson did not get the win, having been pulled after allowing five runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.

Jackson’s stats were nearly identical (4 1/3 innings, four runs, seven hits) in a 4-2 home loss to the Rangers last month in which he was bombed for homers by Shin-Soo Choo and Joey Gallo. He took the loss in that outing.

The 34-year-old has logged a 0-1 record and 9.35 ERA in his two starts against the Rangers this season, as opposed to 5-2 with a 2.06 against all other teams in 11 starts.

Jackson is just 2-4 with a 4.85 ERA in nine starts against the Rangers in his career.

Gallo has faced Jackson just four times and gotten on base all four via two walks, a single and a home run.

The slugger ended a nine-game homerless drought with his 35th of the season in Friday’s 8-4 loss to the A’s in the series opener. He now stands five behind Oakland’s Khris Davis, the AL leader with 40.

Adrian Beltre (.409), Choo (.364) and Elvis Andrus (.353) also have padded their batting averages at Jackson’s expense.

Davis, meanwhile, has a walk, a single and a home run to show for three career plate appearances against left-hander Yohander Mendez (1-1, 5.59), the Rangers’ scheduled starter Saturday.

Mendez faced the A’s three times in relief the past two seasons, going 0-0 with a 3.86 ERA. He has not faced the A’s this season and has transitioned into a starter of late. Mendez is coming off the best outing of his career last Sunday, when he shut out the Minnesota Twins on three hits over six innings for his first major-league win.

The A’s did a majority of the power hitting in Friday’s win, with Ramon Laureano belting a pair of homers, including one on Yovani Gallardo’s fourth pitch of the game.

Oakland’s new leadoff man, who was an August call-up from the minors, has made the most of a recent promotion to the top of the order, going 4-for-10 in three games with two doubles and two home runs.