September has not been friendly to the Rangers. They wrapped up August with a 79-56 record and a two-game lead in the AL West. Since then, they have lost 10 of 12 and now trail the Athletics by 5.5 games in the division following this afternoon’s gut-wrenching 1-0 loss. Yu Darvish started for the Rangers and, aside from allowing an RBI double to Brandon Moss in the first inning, pitched very well. The right-hander struck out ten over seven innings, allowing just the one run on four hits and a walk.
As good as Darvish was, though, A’s starter Bartolo Colon was even better. The 40-year-old blanked the Rangers over eight innings, allowing seven hits and a walk while striking out seven. Grant Balfour shut the door in the ninth to wrap up the 1-0 victory, saving his 38th game of the season.
The Rangers have now lost their last three games against the Athletics and will attempt to avoid the series sweep tomorrow as Martin Perez will oppose Jarrod Parker. The Rays can tie the Rangers for the first AL Wild Card spot with a victory over the Twins tonight. The Indians, Orioles, Yankees, and Royals all sit between 1.5 and 3.5 games out of the second Wild Card. The Rangers have exhausted any wiggle room they had entering the month. It’s do or die for them now.
The Giants have acquired All-Star infielder Eduardo Nunez from the Twins in exchange for minor league pitcher Adalberto Mejia, the club announced on Thursday night.
Nunez, 29, went 0-for-4 in Thursday night’s game against the Orioles. He’s hitting .296/.325/.439 with 12 home runs, 47 RBI, 49 runs scored, and a league-best 26 stolen bases in 391 plate appearances this season. Nunez has played mostly at shortstop this season, but has also logged significant time at third base and a handful of games at second base, so he’ll give the Giants some versatility.
Nunez will likely play a lot of third base for the Giants as Matt Duffy is still sidelined with a strained left Achilles. He’s earning $1.475 million this season and will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility heading into 2017.
Mejia, 23, was considered the Giants’ seventh-best prospect by MLB Pipeline. He earned a promotion to Triple-A Sacramento last month after posting a 1.94 ERA with Double-A Richmond. In seven starts with Sacramento, he has a 4.20 ERA with a 43/11 K/BB ratio in 40 2/3 innings.
With a roster spot open, the Twins called up infield prospect Jorge Polanco from Triple-A Rochester, per MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY reports that the Mariners have received “strong” trade interest for starter Taijuan Walker. The right-hander is currently on the mend from tendinitis in his right foot. He’ll throw a bullpen on Friday at Wrigley Field with scouts in attendance.
Walker, 23, has a 3.66 ERA with an 80/18 K/BB ratio in 86 innings this season. It’s his first bit of sustained success at the major league level. What’s arguably just as intriguing is the fact that Walker will be under team control through 2020.
The Mariners have been hovering around .500 for the last month and entered Thursday six games behind the first-place Rangers in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot, behind three other teams as well as the two Wild Card leaders. It’s enough uncertainty which could push the Mariners to sell.