Athletics: 3 Rangers: 1
It only took 161 games (okay maybe not that many), but the A’s have finally tied the Rangers for first place of the AL West. A team that was “supposed” to lose 90 plus games is playing a relevant game in the very last game of the regular season. It might not be as interesting as the 2011 Cardinals and Rays, but this game is the most important of the season. The A’s are not only playing for a sweep tomorrow, but they’re also playing for a division win.
Tonight’s game was another close one for Oakland and Texas. The Rangers were the first to score tonight, with two outs and one on Josh Hamilton doubled and Ian Kinsler scored. That was the only run Travis Blackley would allow. Blackley lasted six innings tonight and gave up only three hits, the one run, walked two and struck out four. It was a nice comeback from his previous two starts.
The A’s scored their first runs in the fifth inning. Josh Donaldson lead the inning off with a single and Brandon Moss followed with a double. Then with two on and no outs Derek Norris singled and scored Donaldson, Moss then scored on a fielding error by Nelson Cruz. The A’s scored their final run of the game in the sixth inning on a solo home run by Jonny Gomes.
Sean Doolittle pitched a clean seventh inning, he allowed a single with one out, but the runner was eliminated when he got Mike Napoli to ground out into a double play to end the inning. Ryan Cook pitched in the eighth, he allowed a lead off single who moved over to third on two ground outs, but he got out of the inning unharmed by getting Elvis Andrus to ground out to record the third out of the inning.
Grant Balfour, who had pitched in the previous three games, came in to close the game in the ninth. Balfour got Josh Hamilton to ground out to record the first out of the game, struck out Adrian Beltre and then struck out Nelson Cruz to record his 24th save of the year.