Posted July 16, 2012 on AP on Fox
After the Texas Rangers beat Oakland on June 30 to win the first three games of their series, the Athletics have seemed determined to turn their season around. Now the A's are out to prove they're legitimate playoff contenders. Oakland seeks to improve to 10-1 this month while Bartolo Colon looks to continue his dominance of visiting Texas in the opener of a two-game set Tuesday night. The A's defeated the Rangers 3-1 to salvage the final game of their four-game series July 1, beginning a streak of nine wins over 10 games to become a part of a crowded AL wild-card race. Yoenis Cespedes had a career-high four hits, drove in three runs and hit a solo homer as Oakland (46-43) defeated Minnesota 9-4 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep. Cespedes went 8 for 14 with two homers and six RBIs in the series for the A's, who will host the AL East-leading Yankees for four games following the brief visit from Texas. "We have some tough teams coming in, no doubt," manager Bob Melvin told the team's official website. "You look at the standings, and both (Texas and New York) are at the top of their divisions. We definitely have our work cut out for us, but we feel good about the way we're playing at this point." Colon (6-7, 3.80 ERA) will look to help keep Oakland rolling. The right-hander's 18 wins over Texas are his most versus any team. He allowed five hits in eight innings of a 2-0 win over the Rangers on June 6, improving to 13-1 with a 2.98 ERA in his last 15 starts against them. Colon, who is 2-1 with a 2.43 ERA in his last five starts overall, allowed one run in 8 2-3 innings of a 2-1, 13-inning win over Seattle on July 8. Rangers manager Ron Washington said facing Colon and the A's won't be an easy task. "They're playing good baseball," Washington said. "They always could pitch. Right now they're in a groove swinging the bat and putting up some runs. They'll be around. Bob Melvin is doing a good job." AL West-leading Texas (54-35) has been playing solid baseball as well, winning four of five after a season-worst five-game skid. Adrian Beltre went 3 for 4 and drove in two runs in a 4-0 win in Seattle on Sunday. Beltre is hitting .364 over his last eight games, but the Mariners intentionally walked the struggling Josh Hamilton - batting .087 over his last seven - prior to Beltre's fourth-inning RBI single. "It fires me up because I want that challenge," Beltre said. Hamilton homered and drove in six runs in the last series versus the A's, and he said he's been the victim of some bad luck lately. "Honestly I feel really good at the plate," Hamilton said. "Even before the All-Star game and at the All-Star game I had good at-bats, hitting the ball hard and hitting it right at people." Roy Oswalt had a bounce-back outing his last time out, and he'll look to build on that effort Tuesday. Oswalt (2-1, 6.26) gave up one run in 5 2-3 innings of a 4-3, 13-inning win over Minnesota on July 8 - five days after allowing a career-high 11 runs in a 19-2 loss to the White Sox. The right-hander is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in two starts versus the A's, though he hasn't faced them since 2007. Washington is optimistic reliever Alexi Ogando (strained groin) and catcher Mike Napoli (bruised right knee) can return Tuesday.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Profar, Olt unfazed by trade talks

FRISCO, Texas As the baseball world that is the July trading deadline spins around them at a dizzying pace, Texas Rangers prospects Jurickson Profar and Mike Olt seem remarkably calm. But then again, what else can the clubs two hottest trading commodities do about their future other than continue to play for the Frisco Roughriders every night? Im just concentrating on baseball...
BE OUR GUEST

M's fan shares candy with Josh Hamilton

Back on Sunday afternoon, Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton sweet tooth got the best of him as he decided to do a little bit of snacking in the outfield during the Rangers win in Seattle. Watch as a Mariners fan hands him a box of Twizzlers and Josh is more than happy to take a couple: Your browser does not support iframes.

Rangers get revenge on Colon, win 6-1

The last time the Rangers faced Bartolo Colon, they were shutout in just over two hours. Two outings ago, Roy Oswalt gave up 11 runs on 13 hits in just over four innings. Given those two facts, I did not expect a pretty game tonight.  I knew it was the last one I’d get to watch until next Monday though, so I was determined to stay up for it.  Thankfully, Roy and the Rangers made...

Harrison secures series with complete game shutout

One of the best things about baseball is the short break between games.  Especially after a bad game.  You don’t have time to dwell on the loss and ugly performance for very long (unilke college or pro football — the other two sports I watch with regularity).  And the Rangers took advantage of that today, rebounding from a shutout that included poor pitching and nothing in...

A's find their power stroke

Oakland is suddenly a hotbed of power. The A's, at or near the bottom of the league in homers each of the past four seasons, have 92 home runs this year, putting them in the middle of the pack. After 89 games last year, the same point of the season, Oakland had 47 homers. In each of the past two games, the A's have hit four homers -- including three in the second inning...

Oswalt shuts down Athletics in Rangers win

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Roy Oswalt baffled Oakland's batters to beat the Athletics for the first time, and Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre each hit solo home runs in the Texas Rangers' 6-1 victory Tuesday night. Elvis Andrus, Craig Gentry and Mike Napoli hit RBI singles off Bartolo Colon (6-8) for the AL West-leading Rangers, who snapped the A's four-game winning streak...

Grimm adding to his arsenal

ROUND ROCK, Texas – Although he's in just his second full season of professional ball, right-hander Justin Grimm has already reached the major leagues. The 23-year-old prospect is back in the minors for the time being, and Lone Star Dugout spoke with him about his time in the major leagues and his development plans going forward.

Rangers 6, Athletics 1

Roy Oswalt baffled Oakland's batters to beat the Athletics for the first time, and Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre each hit solo home runs in the Texas Rangers' 6-1 victory Tuesday night. Elvis Andrus, Craig Gentry and Mike Napoli hit RBI singles off Bartolo Colon (6-8) for the AL West-leading Rangers, who snapped the A's four-game winning streak and avenged a June loss...

Duensing returns to battle Athletics

The All-Star break didn't slow the Oakland Athletics, and a thumb injury isn't posing a problem for Yoenis Cespedes. He'll try to keep the A's hot Sunday as they look to complete a three-game road sweep of the Minnesota Twins for the first time in more than 12 years. Oakland (45-43) entered the break winning six of seven, and has picked up right where it left off...

Tuesday Morning Cram Session, 7/17

Michael Young, according to Sports Illustrated's annual poll of MLBers is the most underrated player in the game today.  This is the guy who has played in the last two World Series and received tongue baths from every single announcer and scribe covering them.  The player who continues to be revered in the media as a team leader even as he's balked at position changes and...

Daily Notes: Oakland’s Chris Carter, Apropos of Little

Table of Contents Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Daily Notes. 1. Apropos of Little: Oakland’s Chris Carter 2. Notable MLB Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game) 3. Today’s Complete Schedule Apropos of Little: Oakland’s Chris Carter What’s Probably Most Notable Today What’s probably most notable today — so far as Official Baseballing News is concerned...

A's look to upgrade at shortstop

The Oakland Athletics are a surprising wild-card contender despite being last in the American League in OPS from shortstop, last at catcher and next-to-last at third base. They have tried to upgrade at third, where Brandon Inge is now in an 8-for-58 slump that includes 21 strikeouts and one walk. They probably won’t upgrade at catcher, given that Kurt Suzuki is signed for $6.45...

Stream Pies: 7/15/12

Photo Credit: Keith Allison  At “Stream Pies,” we are serving up gooey loads of knowledge. Here, we’ll provide invaluable streaming advice on SPs who are owned in less than 30 percent of Yahoo! leagues. We list the options in order of best option to “least-best” option (with the strongest recommendations starting at the top).More after the jump: Tuesday, July 17thBartolo...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.