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Rangers Sweep Athletics Behind Big Hitting, Strong Pitching

The Oakland Athletics opened up a ten-game homestand this weekend with three games against the Texas Rangers and proceeded to get badly outplayed for much of the series. The A’s came into the weekend winning four of five and conceivably could have cut the Rangers division lead to single digits. Instead they now find themselves 15 1/2 games out of first place.

The A’s opened the series getting thumped 9-1 Friday night. The Rangers put six runs on the board in the second inning and three more in the fourth inning. What was most impressive about the offensive performance was the diversity of contributors. Nobody had more than one RBI as the Rangers absolutely battered the A’s with singles. C.J. Wilson put together a solid six innings of work as he gave up one run on four hits and three walks.

Saturday saw the Rangers spread their offensive production across the final four innings. Trevor Cahill and Colby Lewis exchanged zeroes through the first five innings before Texas got on board with a run in the sixth. The Rangers added a run in the seventh, three in the eighth and two in the ninth en route to a 7-1 victory.

The Rangers wrapped up the sweep on Sunday with a 7-6 victory as they withstood a furious A’s comeback. Texas jumped on top quickly with three runs in the first inning. They eventually stretched the lead to 6-0 before the A’s rallied to tie the game in the fifth and sixth innings. Newcomer Brandon Allen had a strong performance going 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI. Unfortunately the Rangers broke back through in the ninth to secure the victory. Mitch Moreland earned a one-out walk and was replaced by pinch-runner Craig Gentry, who proceeded to steal second with two outs. David Murphy singled in Gentry and the A’s went quietly in the ninth.

The A’s welcome the Baltimore Orioles on Monday for a three-game series between two of the more abysmal teams in the league. The Orioles are 46-72 and sit 26 1/2 games back of first place. Gio Gonzalez will face Tommy Hunter Monday evening.