Pitching dominates competitive Rangers-A’s series


Two pitchers coming off strong season-opening efforts go head-to-head Wednesday night when the Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics meet for the third time in their four-game series.

The Rangers will send Doug Fister (1-0), a winner in his first start over Houston, against Oakland lefty Sean Manaea (0-1), a hard-luck loser his first time out against the Los Angeles Angels.

The teams have split a pair of low-scoring affairs to open the series, with the A’s scoring two late runs to prevail 3-1 on Monday, before the Rangers did all their scoring early in a 4-1 triumph Tuesday.

Oakland got no help from the Texas defense, which played error-free ball for the fifth time in six games.

It really picked me up, Fister praised of the defense in his impressive season debut. It’s a big key for us, especially coming off spring training.

Fister will have to deal with A’s first baseman Matt Olson, who has had two hits in each of the first two games of the series.

They’ve dueled only twice in their careers, with Olson belting a two-run homer and drawing a walk.

The offensive highlight Tuesday was Adrian Beltre’s second-inning single, the 3,053rd hit of his major league career.

It allowed him to tie Rod Carew for the most by a Latin American player. They now share 24th place on Major League Baseball’s all-time list, only two behind former A’s star Rickey Henderson.

Beltre went 1-for-4 on Tuesday and is hitting .227 this season.

The veteran has four of his 3,053 career hits against Manaea in 12 at-bats.

Joey Gallo, who hit his second home run of the season off Kendall Graveman on Tuesday, homered in his first at-bat against Manaea last April.

The 2015 All-Star allowed two hits after teammate Lance McCullers Jr. struck out 10 in another easy Houston win Saturday. They followed a pair of Cy Young Award winners to the mound in Justin Verlander and Dallas Keuchel.

Cole started on opening day last year for Pittsburgh before an offseason trade to the Astros.

This is obviously high-end stuff across the board, Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. Gerrit would have pitched opening day for a lot of teams, and to have him pitch the fourth game Cheap Red Wings Jerseys of the year is really indicative of the depth of this rotation.

The first hit off Cole (1-0) was slugger Joey Gallo’s opposite-field Cheap Quality NFL Jerseys homer just over the tall wall in left field in the first inning against a four-man outfield. Third baseman Alex Bregman gave chase down the line on Gallo’s first of the season.