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Texas at Oakland

Scoreboard
Texas (89-65) «3120000107140
Oakland (69-85)000010001231

Rangers handle A's, reduce magic number to five

CBSSports.com wire reports
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- Adrian Beltre and Michael Young have one number in mind, and it has nothing to do with their own impressive hit or home run totals.

The Texas Rangers dropped their magic number to clinch the AL West to four.

"That's the most important number of the day," Young said.

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Beltre hit a three-run homer in the first that held up for 15-game winner Derek Holland, and the division-leading Rangers beat the Oakland Athletics 7-2 on Tuesday night.

Texas maintained its five-game division lead on Los Angeles after the Angels won 10-6 at Toronto.

"That's what we're working for. We're trying to win every day and give the Angels no chance to do something crazy," Beltre said.

Young hit an RBI single in the third that gave him 200 hits in a season for the sixth time and drove in another run in the eighth for his career-best 104th RBI, Mike Napoli also singled in a run and Texas won for the seventh time in eight games and eighth in 10.

This Texas bunch is committed to making another deep October postseason run after losing the World Series to San Francisco in five games last fall.

Rookie Michael Taylor hit his first major-league home run in the fifth -- his 18th career at-bat -- for Oakland's lone run against Holland (15-5), who won his fourth consecutive decision.

Elvis Andrus singled in the eighth to extend his hitting streak to 13 games for Texas, which moved to 24 games over .500 for its best mark since sitting 31 over in 1999. Reigning AL champion Texas is 12-5 in September.

Young topped his 2006 RBI total of 103. The 200 hits are always special, too.

"I want to find ways to be a run producer," Young said. "It feels good. I know I've been healthy and I know I've been consistent. I've gotten to a point now where I know what it takes to get there. ... I'm happy it's over with now and I can focus on the last eight games of the regular season."

Texas is 89-65 for its second-best record in franchise history through 154 games. The '99 team was 91-63 at this stage.

"The fact that they got on us early and got us in a little bit of a defensive mode, it can get you on your heels a little bit," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "I think we're all tired of getting beat by Texas."

And the Rangers won this one by beating a familiar face.

Rich Harden (4-4) lost back-to-back starts for the first time this year, done after a season-low three innings in which he was tagged for six runs -- five earned -- on seven hits, struck out three and walked one.

Harden, who pitched for Texas last season, is winless in five consecutive outings since beating the Blue Jays on Aug. 19.

Beltre drove a 1-1 pitch over the center-field wall with two outs in the first as Texas immediately jumped ahead on an uncharacteristically warm night in the Bay Area. First-pitch temperature was 74 degrees.

The slugger had batted only 2 for 16 against Harden before connecting for his 28th home run of 2011. It was Beltre's 20th career home run against Oakland and seventh in as many games. The past eight have come off seven different pitchers.

"Their approach up there, they don't swing at a lot of bad pitches and they work the count a lot, too," Harden said.

A wild pitch in the second allowed Nelson Cruz to score after he doubled leading off the inning.

Texas scored twice more in the third to make it 6-0 and chase Harden, whose start was his shortest since the Rangers knocked him out after only 2 1/3 innings on Aug. 7, 2010.

Holland allowed one run and two hits over seven innings. He struck out seven and walked three while earning his second win in three starts against Oakland this season.

Coco Crisp hit a home run in the ninth for the A's against Michael Kirkman.

Texas came out swinging a night after Rangers manager Ron Washington attended the Moneyball premiere and reminisced about his special days as Oakland's third-base coach.

Washington is eager for his team to wrap up the division.

"You talk about determination, we've been determined since February," Washington said. "Each and every day we've got to go out and play until they say we've got a spot in the playoffs. ... When we got defeated by San Francisco, we were determined to come back and try again."

Cruz remained in the designated hitter role while he nurses a strained left hamstring.

Washington said Cruz would likely DH again Wednesday night and then the manager would decide whether to use him in the outfield as soon as Thursday's series finale with the A's or wait until back home in Texas.

Notes

  • A's LF Josh Willingham was named the 2011 Jim "Catfish" Hunter Award winner. The award, voted on by players, coaches and staff, honors the Oakland player whose play on the field and conduct in the clubhouse best exemplifies the courageous, competitive and inspirational spirit demonstrated by the late Hall of Fame pitcher.
  • Harden is 5-4 lifetime against Texas.
  • Texas is 12-5 vs. the A's this year, winning 11 of the past 12 matchups since May 10. The Rangers have only won more than 11 against Oakland in a season twice before -- going 13-2 in 1977 and 12-7 in 2008.
  • LHP C.J. Wilson, who pitches for Texas on Wednesday night, has won his previous three starts against the A's after dropping the first two this year. Wilson (16-7) leads the Rangers and is tied for fourth in the AL in victories.
  • RHP Brandon McCarthy (9-8) goes for the A's and is winless in four starts against Texas this season.
  • The Moneyball premiere at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Oakland generated more than $370,000 in charitable donations to benefit the Children's Hospital and Research Center Oakland and Stand Up To Cancer.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Texas

M. Young
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
Texas

D. Holland
IP 7.0
H 2
ER 1
BB 3
K 7
 
Texas Rangers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ian Kinsler, 2B3100202 .247
Elvis Andrus, SS5010023 .281
Josh Hamilton, LF5220025 .300
Michael Young, 1B5232002 .333
Adrian Beltre, 3B5123013 .288
Mike Napoli, C3021211 .319
David Murphy, RF5010014 .273
Nelson Cruz, DH5110004 .266
Endy Chavez, CF4020001 .305
Totals40714647  
Batting
2B - Josh Hamilton (30, Harden), David Murphy (14, Godfrey), Nelson Cruz (28, Harden)
HR - Adrian Beltre (28, Harden)
RBI - Michael Young 2 (104), Adrian Beltre 3 (97), Mike Napoli (68)
2-OUT RBI - Michael Young (34), Adrian Beltre 3 (41)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Andrus-Kinsler-Young
Texas Rangers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Derek Holland (W,15-5) 7211371 3.92
Mark Lowe 1000000 3.80
Michael Kirkman 1111001 7.11
Pitches-Strikes - Derek Holland 107-62, Mark Lowe 14-11, Michael Kirkman 13-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Derek Holland 6-7, Mark Lowe 1-2
Batters Faced - Derek Holland 25, Mark Lowe 3, Michael Kirkman 4
Oakland Athletics
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jemile Weeks, 2B4000011 .295
Coco Crisp, CF4111011 .272
Hideki Matsui, LF4010000 .255
Josh Willingham, DH3000101 .252
Scott Sizemore, 3B3000121 .239
Chris Carter, 1B3000012 .111
Kurt Suzuki, C3000010 .240
Cliff Pennington, SS3000010 .264
Michael Taylor, RF2111100 .263
Totals2923237  
Batting
HR - Coco Crisp (8, Kirkman), Michael Taylor (1, Holland)
RBI - Coco Crisp (51), Michael Taylor (1)
2-OUT RBI - Michael Taylor (1)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Pennington-Weeks-Carter
E - Michael Taylor (2, Throwing)
Oakland Athletics
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Rich Harden (L,4-4) 3765131 5.17
Graham Godfrey 4500130 3.96
Michael Wuertz 0.1111100 6.68
Jerry Blevins 0.2100010 2.96
Neil Wagner 1000100 7.20
WP - Rich Harden (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Rich Harden 71-48, Graham Godfrey 62-44, Michael Wuertz 11-6, Jerry Blevins 8-6, Neil Wagner 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rich Harden 2-4, Graham Godfrey 2-7, Neil Wagner 1-1
Batters Faced - Rich Harden 17, Graham Godfrey 18, Michael Wuertz 3, Jerry Blevins 3, Neil Wagner 3
Game Information
Attendance - 13635
Game Time - 2:36
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - Todd Tichenor, First Base - Gerry Davis, Second Base - Greg Gibson, Third Base - Angel Hernandez