Dealing with an injured pitcher is nothing new for the AL West-leading Texas Rangers .
Despite Neftali Feliz and Colby Lewis not pitching this season due to elbow injuries and Matt Harrison out since early April with a herniated disk in his lower back, the Rangers (29-15) have one of the best ERAs in the majors at 3.49.
Even after an 11-8 victory over Detroit on Sunday, their home ERA is 2.89.
Alexi Ogando was in line to start Monday after leading Texas to a 6-2 victory over the A's (23-22) on Wednesday in Oakland, but the former reliever was placed on the disabled list Thursday with right biceps tendinitis. That opened a spot for Lindblom, who went 4-0 with 2.08 in seven starts at Triple-A Round Rock after a difficult spring.
"It seems like when we decided to start him, things began to work better for him," manager Ron Washington said of the right-hander, who has appeared in 101 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia.
Lindblom, acquired from the Phillies in the Michael Young deal, told the Rangers' official website that the transition from the bullpen has allowed him to use his fastball, changeup, slider and curveball and "not be limited as a pitcher."
The A's, though, are unsure of how Lindblom will settle in as a first-time starter.
"We just don't know until we see him pitch," manager Bob Melvin told the A's official website.
Oakland, loser of 12 of 16 on the road, will try to maintain its newfound momentum after rallying for three one-run victories against Kansas City over the weekend. The A's had lost eight of 10 before the sweep."I would rather see us win by 10 runs ... but it makes for a little bit more excitement, certainly at the end," Melvin said after a 4-3 victory Sunday.
The Royals series also saw Yoenis Cespedes show signs of breaking out of his slump. The center fielder went 3 for 8 with a homer in the last two games after going 3 for 34 in his previous nine, including a 2-for-11 effort as Oakland dropped two of three to Texas last week.
"The way I work, I always think everything will be fine," Cespedes said. "I believe I'll always get better."
Cespedes should be happy to see Lindblom again. In the slugger's only at-bat against him, he hit a three-run walkoff homer in a 4-1 A's home victory over the Dodgers on June 21.
Texas' Adrian Beltre has batted .500 with two homers and nine RBIs in the last eight contests, driving in a pair of runs and matching a season high with four hits Sunday.
Beltre is batting .317 with five homers - his most against any pitcher - off Bartolo Colon (3-2, 4.56) after going 1 for 3 with a double in a 6-5, 10-inning victory Tuesday.
Colon threw six innings of three-run ball, walking his second batter of the season and failing to record a strikeout for the first time in his career when pitching more than four innings.
Mitch Moreland , tied for the major league lead with seven home runs since May 5, homered off the right-hander Tuesday. His other two hits in the series also left the park.
Texas has won six of seven at home.
|May 07, 2013||Josh Reddick||15-Day DL||Sprained right wrist|
|May 07, 2013||Josh Reddick||Day-to-Day||Sore right wrist|
|May 06, 2013||Jarrod Parker||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained neck|
|May 01, 2013||Brett Anderson||15-Day DL||Sprained right ankle|
|May 01, 2013||Brett Anderson||15-Day DL||Right foot stress fracture|
|April 30, 2013||Chris Young||15-Day DL||Strained left quad|
|May 18, 2013||Ian Kinsler||15-Day DL||Right intercostal strain|
|May 16, 2013||Alexi Ogando||15-Day DL||Right biceps tendinitis|
|May 06, 2013||A.J. Pierzynski||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|April 20, 2013||Nick Tepesch||Day-to-Day||Left game - right arm bruise|
|April 11, 2013||Justin Miller||60-Day DL||Recovery from right elbow surgery|
|April 07, 2013||Matt Harrison||15-Day DL||Inflamed nerve in lower back|
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Bartolo Colon celebrated his 40th birthday a few days early with something he's enjoyed quite a few times over the years: a win over the Texas Rangers .
Seth Smith homered and scored three times, Colon pitched seven strong innings for his first victory in nearly a month and the Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 9-2 on Monday night.
Colon, who turns 40 on Friday, gave up two runs on six hits and struck out three. It was the first win for Colon (4-2) since April 23 at Boston, and he joined Bert Blyleven , Dennis Leonard and Jack Morris as the pitchers with the most wins over the Rangers at 19.
"I like to pitch here," Colon, who has 175 wins in 16 seasons, said through a translator. "I don't know why."
Coco Crisp got three hits, and had the first of three straight Oakland doubles in a four-run fifth inning that broke a 1-1 tie. He scored when Yoenis Cespedes hit a line drive just over Adrian Beltre 's head with the third baseman playing in, and Cespedes came home on Brandon Moss ' line drive to the wall in right.
Josh Lindblom (0-1) lost in his 2013 debut and first major league start.
Lindblom was replaced by left-hander Joseph Ortiz after striking out Josh Donaldson in the fourth. Smith hit an RBI single and went to second when left fielder David Murphy dropped the ball trying to make a throw home. The error allowed Smith to score on a single by Chris Young for a 5-1 Oakland lead.
"The first four innings I was able to make pitches and work myself out of jams," Lindblom said. "That fifth inning, I couldn't make the pitch."
Smith's opposite-field homer to left for a 1-0 lead in the second was the 13th straight solo homer for the A's, tying a franchise record set in 2007. Jed Lowrie had three hits, including one of five doubles for Oakland.
The two outs Smith made were with the bases loaded as the A's stranded a season-high 15. Texas pitchers walked a season-high eight, although two were intentional.
Even Colon had problems with walks - by his standards. He matched his season total by walking Geovany Soto twice.
"Those don't happen too often," A's manager Bob Melvin said.
Top Texas prospect Jurickson Profar made his first appearance in the majors this year at second base and was immediately put to the test by Crisp, who had infield hits his first two times up despite Profar's best efforts. The 20-year-old went far to his left to grab the first one and fielded the next almost behind the bag at second, but Crisp beat the throw both times.
Profar drove in both Texas runs without a hit, scoring Soto with a grounder in the third and Mitch Moreland with a sacrifice fly in the fifth.
"The first one, we needed a groundball, he got the groundball," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He handled his at-bats well tonight. We scored two runs, he got both of them."
With Ian Kinsler on the disabled list because of bruised ribs, Profar is back with the Rangers after homering in his first big league at-bat as a 19-year-old last year.
"I'm feeling more comfortable in the box and on the field," said Profar, who hit .424 during an eight-game hitting streak that included the first multihomer game of his career before getting called up from Triple-A Round Rock. "It starts from there."
Colon was helped by three double plays in the first four innings, including a pair started by Moss at first base when he snagged hard grounders from Lance Berkman and Moreland, stepped on the bag and got the runners trying to go to second. He came out after throwing 95 pitches.
"I mean, he's 40 and we'd like to try to get him through a season," Melvin said. "So anything over 100 for me is starting to get a little uncomfortable for me. To give us seven, just short of 100, is terrific."
Lindblom, who came to Texas as a reliever in the offseason trade that sent franchise hits leader Michael Young to Philadelphia, gave up seven hits and four runs in 4 2-3 innings filling in for Alexi Ogando , who's on the disabled list with right biceps tendinitis.
The 25-year-old had 101 relief appearances over two seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Phillies but struggled in the Texas bullpen during spring training. The Rangers decided to try him as a starter at Round Rock, where he was 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA.
"Fastball command was a little off today," Lindblom said. "I wasn't able to command my heater in and out, which has kind of been my staple all year."
NOTES: Rangers C A.J. Pierzynski (strained oblique) was the designated hitter in the final game of a two-game rehabilitation stint at Double-A Frisco on Monday. He went 1 for 3 with a single and is expected back in the Texas lineup Tuesday, when he's eligible to come off the disabled list. ... Athletics RHP Chris Resop cleared waivers and was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento. Oakland designated him for assignment Friday.