The Oakland A’s struggled to a series-opening 7-3 loss this evening against the Texas Rangers. The offensive power of the Rangers was utilized in a different way today with much of the Rangers scoring came thanks to ticky-tack hits. They got their fair share of big hits, but Brett Anderson seemed to be done in by infield single after infield single. The Rangers had six infield base-hits, and when Vladimir Guerrero (who of the perpetual bad back) is getting on with an infield single, you know you’re in trouble.
Rangers starter Tommy Hunter was strong early and left after 7 2/3 innings, holding the A’s to three runs on a pair of homeruns by Kevin Kouzmanoff and Daric Barton. The A’s had some chances late, but excellent defense by Josh Hamilton prevented a late rally.
The Rangers now sit 9.5 games ahead of the A’s, and potentially 10.5 up on Anaheim who is currently facing Baltimore. Barring a pair of Oakland wins this weekend, it might be about time to call the AL West race for the Rangers.