By STEPHEN HAWKINS
AP Sports Writer
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Heavy rains began soon after the Texas Rangers scored seven runs, leading to the postponement of Wednesday’s game against Oakland and washing away the stats of the worst inning ever by Athletics starter Gio Gonzalez.
The skies were already threatening and a few raindrops started to fall while the Rangers sent 13 players to the plate in a seven-run third. All the runs were charged to Gonzalez, who left with two outs and the bases loaded.
After Hideki Matsui popped out to first base to end the Oakland fourth, and the rain starting to fall harder, the game was stopped and the field covered. The game was called after a delay of 2 hours, 14 minutes, when it was still raining.
Both teams have Thursday off, but the game won’t be made up until Oakland returns to Texas later this season. It could be made up when they play the final series before the All-Star break in July.
The postponement was the 21st this season, matching the total of all last year.
Mitch Moreland hit a grand slam and Andres Blanco had an RBI double in Texas’ big inning, which included a pair of bases-loaded walks. Since it wasn’t an official game, none of the stats will count.
Texas had lost four consecutive series before splitting the two completed games against Oakland. The Rangers have won only one of nine series since the defending American League champions opened the season 9-1.
Gonzalez limited Texas to two runs and five hits over 6 2-3 innings in a win at home against Texas on May 1. This time, he couldn’t get out of the third inning.
Mike Napoli flew out to start the Texas third before consecutive singles by Craig Gentry and Julio Borbon and Blanco’s double. Ian Kinsler and Michael Young then drew walks, the latter with the bases loaded, before Moreland’s drive over the Rangers’ bullpen in right-center field for a 6-0 lead
Adrian Beltre then hit a grounder for the second out, but Gonzalez reloaded the bases on two walks and a hit before leaving. Reliever David Purcey then forced in another run by walking Borbon.
Gonzalez allowed seven runs, all in the third, and six hits with five walks. The left-hander threw only 35 of his 71 pitches for strikes.
Texas had lost seven of nine games and dropped to a .500 record (18-18) before manager Ron Washington shuffled his lineup Tuesday night against the A’s. Borbon was in the leadoff spot for the first time this season, with Kinsler moving to third. Young batted cleanup for the first time in his career, with Moreland hitting fifth and slumping Adrian Beltre dropped to sixth.
Since the Rangers responded with a 7-2 victory, Washington stuck with the same lineup Wednesday – the only change being Blanco in the No. 2 spot while Elvis Andrus got a scheduled day off.
Rangers left-hander Matt Harrison, who had lost his last four starts, limited Oakland to one hit in four innings before the game was stopped. He struck out three and walked three.
NOTES: Oakland LHP Dallas Braden will have surgery Monday in New York to repair a torn capsule in his left shoulder. The recovery time will be determined after surgery. … A’s manager Bob Geren said injured closer Andrew Bailey, on the DL since spring training with a strained right forearm, will pitch one inning or 20 pitches in an extended spring training game Saturday. … Borbon has a 10-game hitting streak, one shy of his career high. His hit Wednesday won’t count to extend the streak.