OAKLAND -- Rangers starter Yovani Gallardo had a less-than-memorable night against the Athletics on Friday, allowing five runs in 4 1/3 innings in an 8-4 loss at the Coliseum.The night was more memorable for right-handed reliever Adrian Sampson, even though he allowed three runs and retired just one hitter. At
OAKLAND -- Rangers starter Yovani Gallardo had a less-than-memorable night against the Athletics on Friday, allowing five runs in 4 1/3 innings in an 8-4 loss at the Coliseum.
The night was more memorable for right-handed reliever Adrian Sampson, even though he allowed three runs and retired just one hitter. At least he can say he is back in the big leagues and now he can concentrate on doing something to impress the Rangers for next season.
The Rangers will give him that chance.
"It was good to get the first one out of the way," Sampson said. "The results weren't there, but it was nice to be back out there pitching again at the big league level. Still a lot of stuff to work on, but I'm looking forward to the next one."
Sampson came on to pitch the sixth inning for his second Major League appearance. The other was June 18, 2016, while with the Mariners. It was right after that start against the Red Sox that Sampson was diagnosed with a torn flexor tendon in his right arm and he has spent over two years trying to get back to the Major Leagues.
The Rangers claimed him off waivers on Nov. 2, 2016, knowing Sampson was going to be a long-term project. But this is a pitcher who was a fifth-round pick by the Pirates in 2012, a Double-A Eastern League All-Star in 2014 and traded straight up to the Mariners for pitcher J.A. Happ on July 31, 2015. The Rangers felt he was worth the wait, and he was 8-4 with a 3.77 ERA in 19 starts and 14 relief appearances at Triple-A Round Rock this season.
That's why he is here with the Rangers in September and why they want to give him one to two starts, at least, before the season is over.
"I thought Sampson threw the ball OK," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "Look, couple of mishandled baseballs. If we make those plays, he's off the diamond. Typical of what we know of him, he is a pitch-to-contact guy, he's going to have balls put in play. Couple of plays we didn't make."
Sampson started his night by giving up a home run to Ramon Laureano on his second pitch. The same thing happened to Gallardo, as he gave up a home run to Laureano to start the first.
Sampson then struck out Matt Chapman, but Jed Lowrie reached when first baseman Ronald Guzman misplayed his grounder for an error. Khris Davis, Matt Olson and Stephen Piscotty followed with three straight singles to bring home two runs and Sampson's outing was over after 21 pitches. Zac Curtis took over and got the Rangers out of the inning without any more runs scoring.
The first thing you want to do is help the team win," Sampson said. "I put up a zero there, we're still in the ballgame. It's a 5-2 game. We score some runs, who knows what happens? Obviously it's not what you want. That's my outlook on how I pitched, but down the road I'll look back and be happy I made it back here and I'm healthy."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Adrian Beltre, ignoring his tender left hamstring, tried to score from third when a pitch got away from catcher Jonathan Lucroy with two outs in the second. But the ball didn't get away far and Lucroy was able to recover in time, flipping the ball to pitcher Chris Bassitt for the out.
Beltre's double in the seventh inning was 1,139th extra-base hit. That moves him past Ty Cobb and into a tie for 14th place all-time with Ken Griffey Jr.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Joey Gallo hit his 35th home run in the fourth inning, but his first since Aug. 24. Gallo was 2-for-28 with 15 strikeouts over his last nine games before going 3-for-4 with three RBIs.
HE SAID IT
"You're going to see some of that with young guys when they're out on a Major League mound and they come in in a leverage situation, they've got to be able to calm themselves down, slow their heart rate down and just pitch. ... They feel like there's a lot riding on every situation; they've got to continue to remember that it's still the game of baseball; they've got good stuff. Trust what they do, slow it down, and really let their pitches take care of themselves." -- Banister, who used three rookie relievers
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Guzman just missed a home run in the seventh with a drive off the top of the wall in right field off of Fernando Rodney. Guzman had to settle for an RBI double. The umpires initiated a crew-chief review, but the call was confirmed by replay.
The Rangers get a chance to play in the sunshine with a 3:05 p.m. CT start on Saturday against the Athletics at the Coliseum. That bodes well for infielders Belte and Rougned Odor. Beltre is hitting .353 in day games this season, the second highest average in the American League. Odor is third with a .333 average. The Rangers as a team, though, are hitting .240 in day games, the third lowest in the league. Left-hander Yohander Mendez (1-1, 5.59 ERA) will start for the Rangers and be opposed by Edwin Jackson (5-3, 2.91 ERA).
• Mendez shows maturity in return
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.