(Sports Network) - The Texas Rangers seem to be going through another
The Rangers will try to reverse their recent fortunes and slice into the
Oakland Athletics' American League West lead on Friday, when the division foes
begin a crucial three-game set at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
"Our heart is still in it. We've just got to do what we have to do to make
sure we win ball games, that's all," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "I'm
not concerned. We'll be ready to play with Oakland coming to town."
Texas was 3 1/2 games up on the A's following a win over Chicago back on Aug.
23. However, the Rangers have dropped 11 of 17 since and enter this series
3 1/2 games back of Oakland in the division.
The Rangers, who were swept at home by Pittsburgh earlier this week, have lost
eight of nine, but still sit atop the wild card standings. Texas, of course
lost nine of its final 13, including a three-game sweep in Oakland to end the
regular season, last year and then went on to lose at home to Baltimore in the
wild card game.
"It's not hard (to be energized)," Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "We
still have a goal in front of us. We're not going to sleep until we get it. I
think when we start thinking about (a) negative start, you're just looking for
a reason not to do the right thing. Right now we're focused on what we need to
be focusing on, which is to go out there and perform well and leave everything
we have on the field."
Getting the call for the Rangers on Friday will be lefty Derek Holland, who is
winless in his last six starts. Holland lost his second straight start on
Saturday in Anaheim, as the Angels reached him for eight runs (4 earned) and
eight hits in 5 2/3 innings to drop him to 9-8 on the year to go along with a
"Our pitching is going to get going again," Holland said. "Myself, I've had a
couple bad starts here and there. I'm going to turn the page."
Holland is 5-3 lifetime versus the A's with a 2.83 ERA in 15 games (11
Oakland, meanwhile, will counter with righty Dan Straily, who has won his last
three starts and is 9-7 with a 4.15 ERA. Straily was terrific against Houston
on Saturday, as he scattered two hits and struck out seven over seven
In five starts versus the Rangers Straily is 2-1 with a 4.23 ERA.
Oakland secured a series win in Minnesota on Thursday with an 8-2 win. The A's
captured the final two games of the series, outscoring the Twins, 26-5. They
have won five of six overall, but are just 7-9 this season against the
"It's the last time we play them," said A's skipper Bob Melvin. "I think at
this point in time in the season, any time we play them, there's probably a
little bit more of a spotlight on the series. And that's probably the case
when we go in there tomorrow."
The Sports Network