After a grinding stretch when the Texas Rangers lost nine of their last 13 games, and the AL West crown in the process, manager Ron Washington gave his players the day off Thursday.
The A’s captured their first division crown in six years with another improbable rally in a season full of them, coming back once more to stun the Rangers 12-5 on Wednesday.
Coco Crisp’s latest big hit helped put the A’s in the playoffs for the first time in six years, and they remained in contention for a division crown by beating the Rangers 4-3 on Monday.
Ian Kinsler hit a leadoff homer to start a five-run first inning, Matt Harrison got his 18th victory, and the two-time defending AL champs held on for a 9-7 victory on Thursday.
Oakland led for good just 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 against the Rangers.
George Kottaras hit a leadoff homer against Mark Lowe in the 10th inning and the Athletics moved within four games of the AL West lead by beating the Rangers 3-2 on Tuesday night.
Adrian Beltre singled home the winning run in the ninth inning Monday night, and the Rangers rallied past Oakland 5-4 to stretch their division lead to five games, with just nine to play.
Mike Napoli and Geovany Soto homered to lead the Rangers to a 3-2 victory over the Mariners on Sunday, and preserve a four-game lead over the Athletics in the division.
Another division title is within reach for the two-time defending American League champion Rangers, as long as they can stay ahead of the surprising Athletics in the AL West.
Major League Baseball has revealed its 2013 schedule, which will begin with an undetermined stand-alone matchup on March 31, and features new twists for interleague play with the Astros switching to the American League.
All by himself, Ian Kinsler showed why the Texas Rangers can be so dangerous. Kinsler got four hits, scored three runs and stole two bases Thursday night, sending the AL West leaders past the Oakland Athletics 7-6 for their 11th win in 13 games.
The season to date in the AL West is best summed up by one word: fireworks. The contest has emerged early as a two team race between the starter-loaded Angels, and the absolutely electric bats of the Texas Rangers.