Posted September 12, 2013 on
AP on Fox
Eight losses in 10 games. From three games up in the AL West to 3 1/2 games back. Struggling at the plate and on the mound.
Yep, it's becoming another September to forget for the Texas Rangers, who host the first-place Oakland Athletics for a crucial three-game series beginning Friday night.
Texas led the West from mid-April to late September in 2012, but it lost nine of its final 13 - including a three-game sweep in Oakland to end the regular season that gave the A's the division title - before losing to Baltimore at home in the wild-card game.
The Rangers (81-64) again are running into problems during the stretch run and were swept by Pittsburgh in a three-game series after falling 7-5 on Wednesday.
Thursday marked their final day off before playing 17 straight to end the season.
"Our heart is still in it. We've just got to do what we have to do to make sure we win ball games, that's all,'' manager Ron Washington said. "I'm not concerned. We'll be ready to play with Oakland coming to town."
Washington surely is trying to remain positive, but he may turn sour if the slump continues. His club held a three-game lead on the A's before play began Aug. 30 but Oakland (85-61) has won 10 of 13 since, including take two of three against Texas from Sept. 2-4.
Adrian Beltre is 5 for 31 (.161) with one extra-base hit over his last eight.
"As a team, we're going through struggles in every phase of the game,'' Beltre said. "Not good enough to win games is the bottom line. We're positive that we're going to get better, and we have to execute.''
The pitching staff also hasn't been very good lately while posting a 5.40 ERA over the last seven, and Derek Holland takes the hill Friday looking to bounce back from his recent struggles.
Holland (9-8, 3.17 ERA) has lost two straight starts, giving up four runs and walking a career worst-tying five in 4 2-3 innings of a 4-2 loss to the A's on Sept. 2 before allowing eight runs - four earned - in 5 2-3 frames of Saturday's 8-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
The left-hander is winless in six outings since giving up four hits over eight innings of a 4-0 win over Oakland on Aug. 4.
"Our pitching is going to get going again," Holland told the team's official website. "Myself, I've had a couple bad starts here and there. I'm going to turn the page."
Holland is 5-2 with a 2.77 ERA in 11 career starts against the A's, who scored 29 runs while taking two of three from Minnesota in their last series.
Oakland got a two-run homer and a sacrifice fly from Josh Reddick and a pair of RBIs from Yoenis Cespedes in Thursday's 8-2 victory. Cespedes is hitting .419 in 11 games this month, including .458 during a six-game RBI streak.
The A's have lost four of the last five road meetings with the Rangers, though.
"We know it's an important series, but we're not going to sweat about it,'' Reddick said. "We know we can beat those guys.''
The A's look to keep rolling behind Dan Straily, who takes the mound looking to win his fourth straight start.
Straily (9-7, 4.15) has a 1.50 ERA during his winning streak after allowing two hits and striking out seven in seven scoreless innings of Saturday's 2-1 win over Houston.
The right-hander, though, has had mixed results in four starts against Texas this season, going 2-1 with a 5.14 ERA. He gave up five runs in 4 1-3 innings of a 6-2 loss May 15, then dominated the Rangers by allowing two hits over seven innings of a 1-0 win May 21.
After giving up six runs in 4 2-3 innings of Oakland's 8-7 loss June 17, he allowed two runs and three hits in five frames to beat Holland on Sept. 2.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
I’m not sure why this story is considered newsworthy, but a photo of a young woman posing next to a wax sculpture of former Chicago Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa is making its way around the Internet. Sure, Sosa’s ill-conceived Pinterest page was hilarious and warranted attention, but this pic? Strange. I have to say that […]The post Woman poses next to what must be a Sammy Sosa...
Late Wednesday night as the beleaguered Rangers lost the last of a 3-game series against the National League powerhouse Pittsburgh Pirates, you can’t help but wonder if they will make the playoffs.
The Rangers have lost eight of their last ten games to fall 3.5 games back of the ever-surging Oakland Athletics. They have not won two games in a row since August 27th – 28th and...
A question for Texas Rangers fans: Even if you are unwilling to leggo your Eggo and insist that they’ll have to pry your Aunt Jemima pancakes from your cold dead hands, do you still feel like your pre-made breakfast items are holding you back from truly supporting your favorite major league baseball team? If so, […]The post There are Texas Rangers-branded waffles and pancakes...
This weekend, the Oakland Athletics take on the Texas Rangers for the last time this season. The last time they met, there was an all-out struggle for the American League West lead. The A’s won the first and third game of the three games series against the Rangers during the first week of September to tied with the Texas team for first in the AL West. But the Athletics...
Oakland Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick has just returned from the Disabled List due to a sprained right wrist. The Athletics powerhouse dealt with a similar injury in May that saw him miss most of the month. Reddick expects a “similar recovery” however his presence will not be immediately felt. Bob Melvin wants to tread lightly with one of his most valuable players, saying...
Nelson Cruz serving a 50-game suspension through the end of the regular season for using performance-enhancing drugs began working out at the Rangers’ facility in Surprise Ariz. on Wednesday. He is a strong candidate to make the postseason roster should the Rangers get that far.
Cruz went through full defensive drills and batting practice with the players who are on injury rehab...
Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler was shown wincing on TV during the ninth inning Tuesday night because of an undisclosed injury according to Aaron Gleeman of NBC Sports.
Kinsler said Wednesday morning that it's "no problem." He did need a day as the designated hitter for Wednesday's game vs Pittsburgh, he said, but should be fine after the Rangers' off...
While Sonny Gray has pitched well since joining the Oakland Athletics' rotation, he hasn't been backed by much support.
Manager Bob Melvin's offense couldn't get it done in the opener of this three-game set, either.
Gray tries to bounce back from a hard-luck loss Wednesday night as AL West-leading Oakland continues its playoff push against the Minnesota Twins at Target...
Alex Rios was certain he could make it from first to third base on a single by Adrian Beltre.
When he didn't, it ended a huge comeback by Texas in the opener of a key AL West series against Oakland.
Yoenis Cespedes hit a three-run homer in the first inning, then threw out Rios on a critical play in the eighth and the Athletics survived a shaky night from the bullpen to extend...
(Eds: APNewsNow. With AP Photos.) By STEPHEN HAWKINS AP Sports Writer The Texas Rangers are sliding in September again, heading into their final series against Oakland.
Despite losing nine of their last 12 games, the Rangers still have a tight hold on the AL's top wild-card spot. But that slump has taken them from a three-game lead in the AL West to three games behind the A...
The slumping Texas Rangers need a day off.
And they're getting one after losing their fourth consecutive series, getting swept after the Pittsburgh Pirates won 7-5 Wednesday in the finale of a three-game interleague matchup of wild-card leaders.
''We'll be fine,'' second baseman Ian Kinsler said. ''We've got an off day and then come back ready...
Jed Lowrie's foul ball that turned into a two-run double after umpires changed the call highlighted a 10-run fourth inning as the Oakland Athletics pounded the Minnesota Twins 18-3 on Wednesday night.
Every Oakland starter had at least one hit, one run and one RBI as the A's recorded a season-high 22 hits and extended their lead over Texas in the AL West to three games....
There will be plenty of drama for the Oakland Athletics as they head down the home stretch in the pennant race. Probably not the kind of drama that unfolded Wednesday night against the Minnesota Twins, though.
Jed Lowrie's foul ball that turned into a two-run double after umpires changed the call highlighted a 10-run fourth inning as Oakland pounded Minnesota 18-3.
Yoenis Cespedes hit a three-run homer in the first inning, and the Oakland Athletics survived a shaky night from the bullpen to extend their AL West lead with a 9-8 victory over the Texas Rangers on Friday night.
The A's handed the Rangers their fourth straight loss and moved 4 1/2 games ahead of Texas in the opener of the final series of the regular season between the past...
In a season where much has gone wrong, the Minnesota Twins had an inning, and a night, where seemingly everything went wrong.
Jed Lowrie's foul ball that turned into a two-run double after umpires changed the call highlighted a 10-run fourth inning as the Oakland Athletics pounded the Twins 18-3 on Wednesday night.
Every Oakland starter had at least one hit, one run and one...