for this game

Harrison masterful as Rangers rout Athletics

Sep 13, 2008 - 5:42 AM By Michael Duca PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- Matt Harrison threw the first shutout of his career as the Texas Rangers blistered the Oakland Athletics, 7-0, on Friday.

Harrison (8-3) was in command throughout, allowing five hits while striking out five and walking four. He became the first Rangers rookie lefthander to throw a shutout since Ray Hayward stifled the Toronto Blue Jays on May 18, 1988.

"He certainly was the story of the game tonight," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of Harrison. "He was in command the whole night, and he finished the game. If he hadn't gotten (Jack) Hannahan (to end the game) that would have been it."

The Rangers, who have not finished above third place in the American League West in this decade, took one more step toward breaking that run of futility. Texas (73-75) passed Oakland (67-80) for second place in the division on July 25. With Friday's win, the Rangers extended their advantage over the A's to 5 1/2 games with 15 games remaining.

Greg Smith (7-15) took the loss. The rookie lefthander tied Brian Bannister of the Kansas City Royals and Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers for the AL lead with 15 setbacks. Barry Zito of the San Francisco Giants leads the majors with 16 defeats.

Smith has received zero runs of support in 10 different starts.

"There's nothing I can do about that," Smith said of the lack of support. "I know it sounds clich??, but I don't go hit. That's not my job, that's not why I'm here."

Smith surrendered six earned runs and seven hits while walking a pair over 5 2/3 innings. The seven hits included two homers, three doubles and a triple.

"Any time you lose, it's frustrating," Smith said. "Rookie year, I'm feeling my way through the league. I'm hopeful next year will get better."

Hank Blalock started the scoring with his seventh home run in the second inning. In the third, rookie Taylor Teagarden hit his fifth homer in 27 at-bats.

"I feel really comfortable, the best I've felt all year," Teagarden said. "I've seen some good pitches recently and I've put together some good at-bats. It's coming together for me right now."

Texas scored three times in the fourth.

A double by Josh Hamilton, single by Marlon Byrd single and a walk to Nelson Cruz loaded the bases with no outs. Blalock and Gerald Laird each hit sacrifice flies before Chris Davis doubled in the Rangers' fifth run.

Davis' sixth-inning triple chased home Laird from second and sent Smith to the showers. Cruz drove in Texas' final run when he was hit by Jeff Gray's pitch with the bases loaded in the seventh.

Harrison became the first rookie Texas lefthander to post eight victories. He is 5-1 since August 1.

"Every time I go out, I learn something new," the 22-year old said. "From my last game, I brought in getting ahead with the fastball and moving it in and out. And, when I do get ahead, don't try to be too perfect, just make a good pitch."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TEXAS 0 1 1 3 0 1 1 0 0 7 10 0
    OAKLAND 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TEX - MATT HARRISON AND GERALD LAIRD
    OAK - GREG SMITH, JEFF GRAY (6TH), ALAN EMBREE (7TH),
    GIO GONZALEZ (8TH) AND KURT SUZUKI

    HOME RUNS: TEX - HANK BLALOCK (7) OFF

    Sep 13 12:33 AM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    NELSON CRUZ HIT BY JEFF GRAY PITCH WITH BASES LOADED SCORED
    JOAQUIN ARIAS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N CRUZ ON FIRST, M BYRD ON SECOND, M YOUNG
    ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 7
    OAKLAND 0 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: H BLALOCK (.266, 1-FOR-2, SF, HR, 2 RBI)

    Rangers 7, Athletics 0  Top 7, 0 OutsSep 12 11:54 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY CHRIS DAVIS SCORED GERALD LAIRD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C DAVIS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 6
    OAKLAND 0 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: T TEAGARDEN (.393, 1-FOR-2, HR, RBI)

    Rangers 6, Athletics 0  Top 6, 0 OutsSep 12 11:32 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CHRIS DAVIS SCORED NELSON CRUZ.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, C DAVIS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 5
    OAKLAND 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: T TEAGARDEN (.407, 1-FOR-1, HR, RBI)

    Rangers 5, Athletics 0  Top 4, 0 OutsSep 12 11:00 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY GERALD LAIRD SCORED MARLON BYRD.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, N CRUZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 4
    OAKLAND 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: C DAVIS (.270, 0-FOR-1)

    Rangers 4, Athletics 0  Top 4, 0 OutsSep 12 10:58 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY HANK BLALOCK SCORED JOSH HAMILTON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N CRUZ ON FIRST, M BYRD ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 3
    OAKLAND 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: G LAIRD (.287, 0-FOR-1)

    Rangers 3, Athletics 0  Top 4, 0 OutsSep 12 10:55 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY TAYLOR TEAGARDEN (5) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 3RD OFF GREG SMITH.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2, OAKLAND 0
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: J ARIAS (.247, 0-FOR-1)

    Rangers 2, Athletics 0  Top 3, 0 OutsSep 12 10:33 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY HANK BLALOCK (7) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 2
    OUT IN THE 2ND OFF GREG SMITH.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1, OAKLAND 0
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: G LAIRD (.288, 6 HR, 40 RBI)

    Rangers 1, Athletics 0  Top 2, 0 OutsSep 12 10:19 PM