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Despite loss, Jurado shows positives vs. A's

August 21, 2018

OAKLAND -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister found some positives from rookie starter Ariel Jurado out of a 6-0 loss to the A's on Tuesday night at the Coliseum."I love how he competes," Banister said. "His sinker was good. ... You go back to hard contact, there were only three hard-hit

OAKLAND -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister found some positives from rookie starter Ariel Jurado out of a 6-0 loss to the A's on Tuesday night at the Coliseum.
"I love how he competes," Banister said. "His sinker was good. ... You go back to hard contact, there were only three hard-hit balls off him. There was no wavering in his approach. This kid, I like the look on the mound and how he competes. Every outing, he knows what he needs to do against Major League hitters."
Jurado also found one positive from the outing.
"My sinker was working," Jurado said. "That's important to me."
That part has been established. Jurado has a plus power sinker that is easily his best pitch. He needs to make sure that's not his only pitch, and that's what the Rangers will be working on as Jurado closes in on the end of his first Major League season.
"When you are a sinker-ball pitcher, you pitch to contact," Banister said. "He is working hard on his secondary stuff. His changeup is a good pitch, and his breaking ball was better tonight. He got some strikes with it. Part of his development is going to be on working on his secondary pitches.
It might be argued that the Minor Leagues would be a better place for a young pitcher to work on such things. Jurado had back-to-back wins against the Astros and Orioles after being recalled on July 28, but he is 0-2 with an 8.64 ERA over his last three starts after allowing four runs on 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings against the A's.
Jurado walked one and struck out one. He has only 12 strikeouts in 32 1/3 innings over six starts. Sinkers get ground balls. Good offspeed pitches get swings and misses in critical moments.
"I feel good with both pitches, the changeup and the curve," Jurado said. "I'm trying to keep working on both. They are getting better every time out."
Jurado was up against tough competition. Left-hander Brett Anderson, part of an improvised A's rotation that has brought Oakland back into the American League postseason picture, held the Rangers to one hit and one walk over seven innings. Two relievers finished the shutout, and the Rangers were blanked for the second straight game after being flummoxed by right-hander Mike Fiers on Monday.

Prior to their arrival in Oakland, the Rangers were hitting .279 with a .481 slugging percentage in 29 games since the All-Star break. They were also averaging 6.4 runs per game. But they have managed only eight baserunners in two losses to the A's, getting shut out in consecutive games for the first time since Aug. 13-14, 2016.
"A couple of pitchers have made some really good pitches against us," Banister said. "Tonight, Anderson had the power sinker working very well, slider early, then went to the changeup. He had all three pitches in play. Looked like we were a little aggressive tonight, coming off a night where we didn't really put out a lot of offense. We've got to get back to what works well for us."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Leadoff runner stranded: The Rangers trailed, 1-0, when Shin-Soo Choo led off the fourth with a double. Rougned Odor moved him to third with a grounder to the right side, but with the A's infield in, Anderson struck out Elvis Andrus and retired Nomar Mazara on a groundout to end the inning.

SOUND SMART
The Rangers have been shut out eight times this season, all on the road. They are the only Major League team that has not been shut out at home.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Khris Davis hit a two-run home run off Texas reliever Matt Moore in the seventh. Davis has nine homers against the Rangers this season, tied with Boston's J.D. Martinez for the most against a single opponent. Martinez has nine against the Orioles. Davis has 26 home runs against the Rangers since the start of 2016, the most by one player against a single opponent.

HE SAID IT
"We have to continue to look at how we pitch to him and the mistakes we've made. He hasn't hit all mistakes. He's a good hitter. The home run numbers are what they are. Sometimes we get the pitch where we need it, and sometimes we make a mistake and he hits them." -- Banister, on Davis
UP NEXT
Mike Minor starts for the Rangers against the A's at 2:35 p.m. CT in Wednesday's series finale at the Coliseum. Minor has won three straight starts, although he was scratched last Friday because of tightness in his lower back. He is 5-2 with a 3.53 ERA in his last 11 starts and is 1-1 with a 3.68 ERA in five career games (two starts) against the A's. Veteran right-hander Edwin Jackson starts for the A's. The game can be watched exclusively on Facebook.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.