Texas Rangers vs. Oakland Athletics Pick & Prediction APRIL 10th 2024

Oakland Athletics catcher Shea Langeliers’ Texas homecoming has been filled with highlights so far.

On Tuesday, he became the first starting catcher in franchise history in almost a century to hit three home runs in a game.

On Wednesday night, in the second game of a three-game series in Arlington, Texas, Langeliers will face his old college battery mate. And to top that off, the A’s are on a three-game winning streak after a 1-7 start.

Left-hander Cody Bradford (2-0, 2.13 ERA), who was co-Most Outstanding Player of the 2018 Big 12 Tournament with Langeliers when both played at Baylor, will be on the mound for Texas on Wednesday. The Rangers will try to snap a three-game losing streak.

Bradford will make his first career start against the A’s; he threw one hitless inning vs. them last September. He comes in off a 10-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Friday that saw him allow just two singles and one run over 7 2/3 innings while striking out four.

Oakland won the series opener against Texas 4-3 on Tuesday on the strength of Langeliers’ three homers, including a two-run go-ahead blast in the ninth off Rangers closer Jose Leclerc that proved to be the game-winner.

“It always feels good to get something like that, when you’re seeing the ball that good,” Langeliers said of the three-homer night, the first of his career. “It’s one of those nights — I was seeing the ball really well, putting good swings on pitches in the zone, guys [were] grinding out at-bats, and luckily, I came through for the team tonight.”

Langeliers became the first A’s catcher to hit three home runs in a game since Hall of Fame member Mickey Cochrane did it for the Philadelphia A’s against the St. Louis Browns in 1925.

“We just ran into a guy who had a big night,” Texas manager Bruce Bochy said. “You’ve got to give credit where it’s due. I mean, three home runs. That’s a big night.”

Even bigger considering Langeliers starred at nearby Keller High School before heading 100 miles south to play at Baylor, where he emerged as the ninth overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft.

“I just got to sleep in my own bed, get a little home cooking,” Langeliers said. “It’s just always kind of fun to come back to Texas to play ball.”

Making the feat even more impressive is that the three home runs came on three different pitches thrown by three different pitchers.

Langeliers’ first homer was a 404-foot solo shot to left-center off a splitter by starter Nathan Eovaldi in the second inning. The second, a 427-foot drive to center, came on a hanging curve from reliever David Robertson in the seventh, while the third homer came on a high fastball thrown by Leclerc and traveled 405 feet to left-center.

“He took advantage of some mistakes,” Bochy said.

After taking two of three games at Detroit over the weekend, the A’s moved into third place in the American League West following Tuesday’s win. Right-hander Ross Stripling (0-2, 3.75 ERA), who is 0-1 with a 4.76 ERA in five career appearances (two starts) against the Rangers, will try to extend Oakland’s winning streak on Wednesday.

Stripling also has Texas ties, playing at Carroll High School in Southlake and then at Texas A&M.

A’s manager Mark Kotsay is enjoying the Texas reunion after the first game and the defeat of the World Series champs.

“A really big win to start the series, especially against this club,” Kotsay said. “We showed the fight tonight. We’ve played better baseball since the start of the season when we really got off to an unnerving start, I should say. The guys have settled down, we’ve been more competitive the last five, and the wins are showing up right now.”

–Field Level Media

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