Oakland began a stretch Friday in which 16 of the team's 19 games come against the AL West, and the A's, hoping to make a difference in the division race, promptly lost 14-3 at Texas.
If the earlier portion of the season is anything to judge by -- and Friday night's game -- the Rangers are more likely than Anaheim to benefit from their remaining chunk of games against the A's. Oakland is 8-5 against the Angels, and now 4-10 against Texas.
Asked before Friday's game about playing spoiler in the AL West, A's manager Bob Melvin told reporters that it could serve as motivation for his third-place team.
Melvin himself has motivation to keep a representative team on the field: He is still an interim manager.
It's widely expected that he'll be back as Oakland's manager next year, with the full-time title -- the A's hiring Melvin's friend and mentor, Phil Garner, as a special advisor pointed things even further that way. Still, the A's have not gone for a big youth movement in the final month-plus, despite being well out of the race. It's clear that the team is still trying to win games.
That might not be great news for the Angels when Oakland opens play with them next week.
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