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Future-focused Rangers, A’s prepare for series finale

The Texas Rangers continued to shake things up, parting ways with president of baseball operations Jon Daniels on Wednesday, just two days after firing manager Chris Woodward.

On Thursday, Texas will look to gain a four-game split with the visiting Oakland Athletics in Arlington, Texas. Oakland won 5-1 on Tuesday and 7-2 on Wednesday after falling 2-1 on Monday in the series opener.

The Rangers are trying to settle in under new leadership. Tony Beasley took over as interim manager, and general manager Chris Young inherits all of Daniels’ duties.

“The players that are here, they feel it,” Beasley said during the Rangers’ pregame radio show. “They feel everything that we felt today. Today was numbing, early on. But we kind of wanted to get some sense of normality with our routines. …

“The last three days have been a lot. We’ve had a lot of meetings and a lot of things transpired.”

In the series finale, Texas will turn to right-hander Dane Dunning (2-6, 4.12 ERA) while the A’s will start rookie left-hander Zach Logue (3-6, 5.49).

Logue has faced the Rangers once, and he came out on the losing end on May 28. The southpaw lasted just 2 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits, including two home runs. He walked one and struck out one.

In four road starts, the 26-year-old Ohio native is 1-3 with a 6.14 ERA.

Down the stretch, the A’s are giving opportunities to young players. One of their most promising prospects is 24-year-old catcher Shea Langeliers, a Texas high school product who grew up watching the Rangers.

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Langeliers served as Oakland’s designated hitter in his major league debut on Tuesday, when he went 1-for-4, and again on Wednesday, when hit his first home run.

Langeliers homered in the Futures Game in July at Dodger Stadium, and he hit .283 with 19 homers and an .876 OPS for Triple-A Las Vegas in 92 games this year. He received the promotion to the majors earlier this week when Oakland placed outfielder Ramon Laureano (strained left oblique) on the injured list.

“As far as the decision to bring up Shea, it was a matter of when and not if we’re going to bring him up,” A’s general manager David Forst said, according to MLB.com.

Dunning has faced the A’s once this season, on May 29 at Oakland. In a no-decision, the 27-year-old was charged with three runs (two earned) on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked three.

For his career, Dunning has no decisions and a 2.57 ERA in four appearances, three starts, against the A’s.

This will be Dunning’s 23rd start of the season, and the former University of Florida standout has already established a career high with 118 innings. A year ago, in his first full big-league season, the right-hander finished with 117 2/3 innings.

Texas wasn’t the only club in the series making headlines with its moves on Wednesday. The A’s released veteran shortstop Elvis Andrus, a former star with the Rangers who homered against his former team on Tuesday, and recalled infielder Sheldon Neuse from Las Vegas.

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Center fielder Cal Stevenson is among the Oakland rookies getting big league experience down the stretch.

The A’s acquired the left-handed-hitting Stevenson, along with minor league right-hander Christian Fernandez, from the Tampa Bay Rays on July 9 in exchange for catcher Christian Bethancourt.

Stevenson is batting .158 through seven games, but he has impressed on defense.

“He’s not overly fast,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said during a pregame radio segment. “He’s not a burner, by any means, but his reactions are great. His routes are really efficient to the baseball.”


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