Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Oakland A’s 3, Texas Rangers 1
Rangers blow another chance at clinching the division title.
The Texas Rangers made sure that the season would come down to the final game Tuesday night in Oakland, losing 3-1 to the A's in the second-to-last game of the regular season. The loss dropped Texas to 93-68 and tied them with Oakland for first place in the AL West with one game remaining. Tomorrow's game will determine which teams wins the AL West, and which team must go through a one-game gauntlet in the wild card round.
Rangers starter Matt Harrison was solid, allowing three runs on six hits over six innings. Harrison, who walked one while striking out five, fell to 18-11 on the year with a 3.29 ERA.
A's starter Travis Blackley rebounded from the shortest start of his career in his last game against the Rangers, and gave up just one run over six innings. Blackley improved to 6-4 on the season for Oakland.
Texas opened the scoring in the top of the third when Ian Kinsler drew a one-out walk, then scored on Josh Hamilton's two-out RBI double to right-center field. Unfortunately for Texas, they only managed a pair of harmless singles the rest of the game as their allegedly potent lineup once again fell flat.
Oakland tied it in the bottom of the fifth when Harrison served up three straight hits. The third hit, Derek Norris' single, scored Oakland third baseman Josh Donaldson to make it 1-1, and when Nelson Cruz misplayed the ball Brandon Moss rounded third to put the A's up for good at 2-1. Jonny Gomes added a solo home run in the sixth to cap the scoring.
The final game of the season will feature Rangers midseason acquisition Ryan Dempster (12-8, 3.18 ERA), facing off against A's rookie phenom A.J. Griffin (7-1, 2.71 ERA).