The surging Texas Rangers aim for their seventh straight win when they visit the Oakland A's to open a three-game series on Monday
The Rangers are coming off consecutive three-game sweeps of the visiting Chicago White Sox and Miami Marlins, concluding a perfect homestand with a 6-0 win over the Marlins on Sunday
But the victory came with a steep price. All-Star third baseman Josh Jung fractured his left (non-throwing) thumb while fielding a 110 mph line drive off the bat of Jorge Soler in the sixth inning
"We had it X-rayed. He's got a fractured left thumb there," Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said. "That's all I can give you right now. He'll see a specialist. We'll see where we're at, what needs to be done, whatever. We just don't know yet.
Jung, 25, leads major league rookies in home runs (22) and RBIs (67) and is tied for the most hits (117). He leads AL rookies in runs (70) and extra-base hits (47)
On Monday, the Rangers also could be without All-Star shortstop Corey Seager, who didn't play on Sunday due to a lingering injury in his thumb, which he hurt on July 21
The Rangers, who haven't had a winning season since 2016, are 20 games over .500 and in first place in the American League West. Their 66 wins are third best in the league
Meanwhile, the A's have a major-league-low 32 wins and have dropped five of their seven games against the Rangers this season. Oakland is a major-league-worst 17-39 at home this year, but it swept a two-game series against the visiting San Francisco Giants over the weekend
The Rangers send Dane Dunning (9-4, 3.14 ERA) to the mound on Monday. The right-hander is coming off one of his best starts of the season. He held the visiting Chicago White Sox to one run on three hits and a walk in 7 1/3 innings, and struck out a career-high 11 in an 11-1 win
Dunning has faced the A's six times, including five starts, and is 1-0 with a 3.65 ERA spanning 24 2/3 innings. He had 23 strikeouts and 13 walks along the way
Oakland counters with rookie lefty Ken Waldichuk (2-7, 6.52), who has been used as a starter and as a reliever this season. His last appearance came in a start on Tuesday. He gave up four runs on one hit and three walks with five strikeouts in a 7-3 loss to the host Los Angeles Dodgers
The left-hander wasn't effective against the Rangers in his lone appearance against them this year. He ended up with a no-decision after allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits and five walks over five innings during a 9-7 win in 10 innings on May 12
"I think Ken's realized when he comes into games now that max effort from pitch one is important," A's manager Mark Kotsay said. "This is a sign of growth. It's a sign of maturity in terms of understanding what it takes to get major league hitters out from pitch one.
Waldichuk has made two starts in his career vs. Texas. In 10 total innings, he has no wins or losses but has a 7.20 ERA with 11 strikeouts and six walks
--Field Level Medi