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Athletics vs. Rangers, Series Recap: A's Climb Over .500, One Game Back Of First

The Oakland Athletics wrapped up their four game series with the Texas Rangers and might finally have a little bit of momentum on their side. The A’s took three of the four games to improve to 15-14 and climb to within a game of the Rangers and Angels, who are both tied for first in the AL West. The A’s rode a combination of strong starting and bullpen pitching and timely hitting to victory.

A’s Pitcher of the Series: Brian Fuentes – While Fuentes only notched one save in the series, his solid pitching thus far is worth a mention. He has blown two saves and given up six runs in 14 appearances, but given what could have happened when Andrew Bailey went down with his forearm injury, I’d say Fuentes has done a good enough job so far. The A’s brought Fuentes in as a set-up man, but given Bailey’s injury last year it was also a bit of an insurance policy. Through a little over one month of the season, the A’s have collected on that policy and bought themselves time for Bailey to take his time returning from the DL.

A’s Hitter of the Series: Kurt Suzuki – The proud new papa had a very solid series against the Rangers with some timely home runs. He finished the series 6-for-16 with five RBIs (at least one in each game) and three runs scored. As is the case with Suzuki, the offense wasn’t spectacular, but he got the team hits when needed. He’s not a guy who will be putting up monster offensive numbers during his career, but he’s rebounding quite nicely after a subpar 2010. Through one month of the season he is seventh among all catchers in OPS while continuing to call an excellent game behind the plate and providing stellar defense.

Upcoming Schedule: The A’s welcome the Cleveland Indians to town at a time when the Indians have compiled the best record in baseball (19-8). The Indians are tied with the Rangers for the American League lead in runs scored while also giving up the fewest runs in the AL. The A’s will look to build on the momentum gained in their series victory over the Rangers.

Series Results
Friday: A’s 3 – Rangers 1
WP: Trevor Cahill (4-0)
LP: C.J. Wilson (3-1)
Sv: Brian Fuentes (7)

Saturday: Rangers 11 – A’s 2
WP: Colby Lewis (2-3)
LP: Brett Anderson

Sunday: A’s 7 – Rangers 2
WP: GIo Gonzalez (3-2)
LP: Matt Harrison (3-3)

Monday: A’s 5 – Rangers 4
WP: Grant Balfour (2-1)
LP: Darren Oliver (1-3)