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A’s beat Rangers again, AL West still up for grabs

Oct 3, 2012, 12:55 AM EDT

Brandon Moss Getty Images

One imagines the A’s would have been perfectly happy with the wild card a few weeks ago. Now they’re one game away from winning the AL West.

Travis Blackley allowed one run and three hits in six innings and the bullpen came through one more time Tuesday as the A’s topped the Rangers 3-1 to move into a tie for first place in the AL West.  They were as many as 13 games behind Texas earlier this year.

The Rangers got their only run on a Josh Hamilton double in the third. Derek Norris came back with what was supposed to be a game-tying single in the fifth, but right fielder Nelson Cruz bobbled it, allowing Brandon Moss to score the go-ahead run. Jonny Gomes hit a solo homer in the sixth to conclude the scoring for the night.

Grant Balfour, working on a fourth straight day for the first time this year, retired Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz in a perfect ninth for his 24th save of the year.

Blackley excelled tonight just five days after giving up five runs in an inning in a start versus the Rangers. The A’s have won five straight after losing that game. Tonight’s appearance may well have been the of the year for Blackley, as the team doesn’t figure to carry him as a reliever in the postseason.

Wednesday’s finale will feature Ryan Dempster and A.J. Griffin as the starters. It’ll be Dempster’s first start against the A’s as a member of the Rangers. He’s 7-3 with a 4.64 ERA in 11 starts since coming over from the Cubs. Griffin is 7-1 with a 2.71 ERA in 14 starts for Oakland. He pitched six scoreless innings in his one outing versus Texas this year.

  1. kelshannon19 - Oct 3, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    Come on A’s!
    Sincerely, die hard Lastros fan who hates the Rangers.

  2. skerney - Oct 3, 2012 at 1:59 AM

    If Oakland wins this division, it will be one of the most incredible things I will ever have seen in baseball.

    • madhatternalice - Oct 3, 2012 at 3:37 AM

      Completely agree. Baseball is so much better with stories like the A’s. Give me the “up and coming” and shelve the “old and fading.”

      • Kevin S. - Oct 3, 2012 at 9:06 AM

        The story would be getting a lot more play if Bud hadn’t effed up tge Wild Card situation, as the Ranters would probably be topping Boston’s collapse out of the playoffs from last year.

  3. natslady - Oct 3, 2012 at 6:16 AM

    Just finished enjoying preseason predictions. Someone wrote, if my life depended on picking one team for last, it would be the O’s. The Nationals are a young team that will be fun to watch. No one picked the Reds or Nationals to be the best teams in MLB.

    And this for the A’s:

    4. Oakland As: So how about that Cespedes signing, guys? Really, though, Oakland is a miasma of 1B/DH prospects that end up hitting like middle infielders, and pretty good pitchers who break constantly and leave them with… not so good pitchers.

    Sorry–YCPB, one of my favorite sites….

    But everybody got the Tigers right. Barely.

  4. ericellers - Oct 3, 2012 at 6:27 AM

    Shelve the old and fading? Guess you missed Raul’s pinch hit two run blast in the bottom of the ninth to send it to extra innings only to also knock in the winning run in the 12th? Hmm.. He’s 40? Lets do this take the up and coming and hold on to the old and not so “fading”.

    • marespo - Oct 3, 2012 at 9:09 AM

      versus the Red Sox my grandmother too could hit a double…..she is 82 years old, so hold on to the old ….. :-)

  5. pw38 - Oct 3, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    Yeah I just don’t know what to say as a Rangers fan. This is probably the most disappointed I’ve been in a long time. What’s worse is we all know how this is going to play out: the Rangers will lose, have to play probably Baltimore in the play-in game, and will play uninspired and get bounced. So long two time defending AL champs, so long chance at a third WS to redeem. So long Josh, MY, and maybe Nap too. This is gonna be a rough off season if they don’t turn things around fast.

    • beefytrout - Oct 3, 2012 at 12:12 PM

      Nothing you can say, really. The Rangers have held first place in the AL West since April 9th. For a good chunk of the season, they’ve had the best record in the AL (and for a time, all of MLB). They had a 5 game lead with 9 to play. All of that is now gone.

      They’ve had two chances to win the single game they needed to lock up the division title. They went 0-2 and scored a total of 4 runs. Yes, they can still win today and take the division. Or, they could still feasibly win the WC play-in game and continue on.

      But damn, either way, they would be absolutely whimpering into the playoffs with no momentum whatsoever.

      • pw38 - Oct 4, 2012 at 3:46 PM

        Well I guess we’ll find out tomorrow if this team has any heart left.

  6. hankhill - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    It must be so fun being an A’s fan…

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