Justin Grimm 'looking to turn the corner'

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Texas Rangers rookie pitcher Justin Grimm had a stunning April, going 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA and earning American League Rookie of the Month.

Then May arrived, and Grimm's fortunes did a 180-degree turn.

Grimm suffered his third straight May loss Monday night, allowing five runs and seven hits as the Rangers fell 5-1 to the Oakland Athletics. He struck out three, walked two and allowed back-to-back monster home runs to Yoenis Cespedes and Brandon Moss in the third inning, when the A's extended their lead to 4-1.

"Yeah, April was a lot more fun, especially in between starts," Grimm said. "I'm just going to keep my head high, show up tomorrow, get my work in, go with it. Looking to turn the corner.”

That's all Grimm can do, because it's too early to turn the calendar.

"It's a lot more fun when things are going good for you, but you've just got to find ways to stay mentally strong when things don't go well for you," Grimm said. "It's a big difference. So I look to do that and stay on a positive note. Get the start against Detroit and go at them."

Despite Grimm's recent struggles, Rangers manager Ron Washington said he's not worried about his young pitcher.

"No, I'm not concerned about him," Washington said. "The games he pitched he may have lost, but he kept us in the ball game. The game against the White Sox, one mistake. We had opportunities to get back in that game. We didn't.

“Tonight we only scored one run. He's out there battling; he's out there fighting. I'm not concerned."

Grimm gave up two runs in the second. He had two outs and a runner on first but walked Derek Norris on four pitches then gave up an RBI single to No. 9 hitter Eric Sogard. Leadoff hitter John Jaso followed with an RBI single to center.

Then in the third, Cespedes and Moss unloaded.

"Tried to get a couple of fastballs in on those guys," Grimm said. "Left them over the plate. Hit it hard."

The Rangers hit only a handful of pitches hard off A's starter A.J. Griffin, who allowed six hits and one run over seven innings, striking out eight and walking none. Griffin baffled the Rangers with his slow curveball and change of speed. Texas scored its only run on Mitch Moreland's solo blast in the second, his seventh homer of the year.

"He had a tremendous breaking ball tonight, threw some good changeups and he moved his fastball around," Washington said. "We just couldn't get on his breaking ball, and he used it a lot. We just couldn't time it."

The Rangers took four called third strikes against Griffin and six total for the game, causing some obvious consternation.

"It's always frustrating when we're not doing what we expect to do, and tonight we didn't do what we expect to do," said Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler.