Found September 27, 2012 on Fox Sports:
The Oakland Athletics may be able to do better than just get into the playoffs as a wild card. They might sneak away with a division title if they keep playing like this against the AL West-leading Texas Rangers. Oakland led for good only three batters into the game and chased Texas starter Martin Perez before the end of the first inning in a 9-3 victory Wednesday night to pull within three games with seven to play, four against the Rangers. ''To come out there and get these guys was the biggest series of the road trip. These are the guys we are trying to catch,'' Josh Reddick said. ''A lot of people want to say we can get the wild card. We're trying to still win this division. ... It's definitely possible.'' The Athletics (88-67) have taken two of the first three games in the series that ends with a day game Thursday. That will also wrap up a stretch of six series in six cities before ending the regular season with six games at home. ''We lost a tough one the first night (in Texas). For me, it was even more important to come back and win the next day and follow it up with a good performance today,'' manager Bob Melvin said. ''Certainly it would be nice to win tomorrow, but at this point, these two games I think were big for us.'' The Los Angeles Angels (86-69) remained within two games of Oakland for the AL's second wild-card spot by winning their fifth game in a row later Wednesday night, 4-3 over Seattle. Oakland, which had played five consecutive one-run games, led 5-0 only eight batters into the game. The A's chased Perez (1-3) before the rookie left-hander got all the way through the batting order one time. Yoenis Cespedes had one of Oakland's two triples in the first inning. After Cespedes' one-out triple, the A's had three consecutive singles. The last was Josh Donaldson's grounder up the middle that then rolled under the glove of center fielder Josh Hamilton for a two-base error, making it 4-0. Derek Norris tripled to left-center on a liner Hamilton appeared to misplay and let get over his head. While not the best timing for the Rangers (91-64) to play a game like this, Hamilton said they're not panicking. ''It is what it is,'' Hamilton said. ''I'm not going to give in or put my head down or start crying or collapse all over myself, and the team's not going to do that either. Come back tomorrow.'' The magic number remained at five for the two-time defending American League champion Rangers, who host the Angels for three games this weekend. Matt Harrison (17-10), the All-Star left-hander, starts for Texas in the series finale against Oakland, when he will try to become the Rangers' first 18-game winner since Kenny Rogers in 2004. He faces lefty Travis Blackley (5-3). ''If we come back tomorrow and win the ballgame, they leave out of here the same way they came in,'' Rangers manager Ron Washington said. ''We feel like we're going to win tomorrow. We just didn't get it done tonight.'' Stephen Drew had four of Oakland's 16 hits, including a double leading off the game before scoring on Cespedes' triple into the right-center gap. The only Oakland starter without a hit was No. 9 hitter Cliff Pennington. Even Reddick ended a career-long 0-for-30 slump with singles in the seventh and ninth innings. Rookie righty Jarrod Parker (12-8) won his third consecutive decision over four starts. He struck out eight in six innings, and his 109 pitches were his most since 111 on June 4, when he threw eight scoreless innings and allowed only one hit against the Rangers in Oakland. The Athletics set an AL record for striking out the most in a season with their 11 against six Texas pitchers. They have 1,333, nine more than Tampa Bay had in 2007, and they still have seven games left. ''Despite that number, we're having a great year and winning some ballgames,'' Reddick said. ''Just kind of throw that stat out the window as long as scoring runs.'' A night after Yu Darvish was scratched from his scheduled start because of neck stiffness, and Scott Feldman and five other relievers were needed in a 10-inning loss, the Rangers were already back in their bullpen before the end of the first inning. Wilmer Font, the third Texas pitcher, walked the only two batters he faced to start the third before Drew's two-run single made it 7-3. Moss doubled and scored on a single by Norris an inning later. Parker walked leadoff hitter Ian Kinsler before Elvis Andrus doubled off the left-center field wall. Michael Young and David Murphy had consecutive singles to start the second, scoring on a fielder's choice grounder by Mitch Moreland and a sacrifice fly by Andrus that made it 5-3. Chris Carter's strikeout in the second inning was the third of the game for the A's, and pushed them past the 2007 Rays. Oakland already is well past its previous franchise mark of 1,226 strikeouts in 2008. ''At this point, it just kind of goes with the territory,'' Melvin said. ''At least we're not hitting into double plays.'' NOTES: Oakland is 51-25 since the start of July, the best record in the majors over that span. ... The A's are 8-7 against Texas this season. ... The start by Perez was the shortest for a Ranger since July 2, 2011, when Derek Holland also got only two outs facing eight batters against Florida. ... Perez got his first major league victory on June 30, against the A's at Rangers Ballpark. ... Yoshinori Tateyama struck out four in 2 1/3 innings, and was the only Rangers pitcher who didn't allow a base runner.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Adams raises flags allowing three homers

ARLINGTON, Texas While the Rangers' overall picture improved with Thursday's 9-7 win over Oakland, concerns about set-up Mike Adams have blossomed. Adams gave up three home runs in the eighth inning, after allowing just one home run all season. In fact, Adams had never given up more than one home run in an appearance his entire career before now. Rangers manager Ron...

Ex-Rangers owner Hicks settles over failed project

Former Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks has settled a pair of lawsuits related to a failed multimillion-dollar development project near Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Hicks sought for several years to build a shopping and restaurant district to be called GloryPark Town Center. The project was put on hold in 2008, and Hicks was sued by two separate groups of developers seeking more...

Nelson Cruz buys firetruck, donates it to his hometown in the Domincan Republic

The town of San Francisco de Macoris in the Dominican Republic lacks adequate public safety equipment for it’s more than 240,000 residents. Fortunately for the people in the town, one of their own is a Major League Baseball player with a big heart. According to the Star-Telegram, Ranger slugger Nelson Cruz recently purchased an all-terrain vehicle that he will be donating to his...

Darvish to pitch first playoff game

Yu Darvish will start the Texas Rangers' wild-card playoff game on Friday against the Baltimore Orioles. Manager Ron Washington announced Darvish as his pick before the Rangers lost their regular-season finale at Oakland 12-5 on Wednesday to wind up as a wild card. ''Of course I'm ready,'' Darvish said through an interpreter. ''If I'm not ready...

Rangers Injury News: Yu Darvish

The Texas Rangers lost again to the Oakland Athletics last night and saw their lead in the American League West cut to just three games.  They still have four games to play this season with Oakland as they battle to win the division for the third consecutive season.  Here are your Rangers injury news and notes: Yu Darvish is still on track to make his next scheduled...

A’s Rookie Starting Pitchers Defying Odds

The other day, a clerical error on Major League Baseball’s part gave Athletics pitcher Travis Blackley another chance to be a freshman. As a result, the A’s — who had already received more than 60 starts from rookie pitchers — moved even further up the leaderboard of games started by rookie pitchers. But while many rookie-laden pitching rotations stumble, Oakland has gotten...

Dallas Braden Yells At The Police Now

You may remember Dallas Braden from such 2010 classics as yelling "get off my mound" at Alex Rodriguez, this awesome t-shirt commemorating the event and somehow throwing a perfect game against the Rays. He pitched 18.0 innings in 2011 before losing the year to shoulder surgery. In March 2012, Braden had a little more surgery for a partial rotator cuff tear. Now that his...

Rangers 9, Athletics 7

Ian Kinsler got Texas started with a leadoff homer, Matt Harrison earned his 18th victory and the AL West-leading Rangers held on to win 9-7 Thursday for a four-game split with the chasing Oakland Athletics. The two-time defending American League champion Rangers (92-64) have a four-game division lead over the A's with six to play, including three games in Oakland next week...

Oakland A's pitcher Braden yells at police chief

Oakland Athletics pitcher Dallas Braden is getting attention for his outburst during an anti-crime rally in his hometown of Stockton. Braden was carrying a baseball bat and began yelling at the city's police chief about Stockton's crime woes at Wednesday's rally. At one point, Chief Eric Jones told Braden he would be escorted out if he didn't wait his turn to speak...

A's Braden yells at police chief

Oakland Athletics pitcher Dallas Braden yelled at the Stockton police chief while carrying a bat during an anti-crime rally in his hometown but won't be punished. Braden began shouting at the chief about the city's crime woes at Wednesday's rally. At one point, Chief Eric Jones told Braden he would be escorted out if he didn't wait his turn to speak. Stockton filed...

Athletics 9, Rangers 3

Yoenis Cespedes had one of Oakland's two triples in the first inning and the Athletics jumped out to a quick lead in a 9-3 victory at Texas on Wednesday night to pull within three games of the AL West-leading Rangers. The Athletics, who had played five consecutive one-run games, led 5-0 only eight batters into the game. They chased Martin Perez (1-3) before the rookie left-hander...

Josh Reddick Hates Fastballs

“Bats, they are sick. I cannot hit curveball. Straightball I hit it very much. Curveball, bats are afraid. I ask Jobu to come, take fear from bats. I offer him cigar, rum. He will come.” — Pedro CerranoThe archetype of power hitters feasting on fastballs and whiffing on offspeed pitches has long floated within baseball circles. The quotation featured above from the movie Major...

A's hope to make final series with Rangers relevant

Oakland split its key four-game series at Texas, usually a good result at Rangers Ballpark, but for the A's, not a perfect scenario. Oakland had hoped to keep within striking distance of the Rangers in the AL West, but the A's are back to four games behind Texas with six games to play. The final three are against the Rangers. So the A's must hope that the Los Angeles...

Hamilton rooting for Cabrera's Triple Crown

By ANTHONY ANDROFOXSportsSouthwest.com ARLINGTON, Texas The only person standing between Detroit's Miguel Cabrera and a Triple Crown is pulling for the Tigers' slugger to be the first to achieve the milestone since 1967. That doesn't mean Josh Hamilton plans to go into a power funk though. Cabrera started the day leading the American League in batting average and...
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.