The Oakland Athletics opened the final series of the regular season exactly how they wanted to. They defeated the first-place Texas Rangers by a final score of 4-3 to clinch a postseason berth. Should the A's win the next two games and sweep the series, they will win the American League West outright.
The A's scored two quick runs in the bottom of the first, as Josh Reddick hit an RBI single and Chris Carter scored on a balk. Texas showed plenty of fight throughout the game, however. Elvis Andrus hit a single to drive in a run in the third inning to cut the Oakland lead in half and Michael Young homered to tie the game at 2-2 in the fourth.
Behind Jarrod Parker, the A's had another rally left in them. In the bottom of the fifth, Coco Crisp hit an RBI double and Brandon Moss made it 4-2 with a sacrifice fly. Mike Napoli led off the seventh with a home run to cut the A's lead to one run, but the pitching held things down. Grant Balfour pitched a perfect ninth for the save to clinch the Oakland postseason berth.
Parker gave up three runs on six hits and two walks in six-plus innings of work, striking out six along the way. He finishes his season with a 13-8 record.