A's edge Rangers to clinch playoff berth of their own

Posted Tuesday, Oct. 02, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
A

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

The Oakland Athletics are in the playoffs, and they celebrated their accomplishment Monday night by bum-rushing the field and spraying champagne in the clubhouse.

The Rangers, meanwhile, maybe 50 feet down the hall, remained stoic and confident that they will have the ultimate celebration this week at O.co Coliseum by winning the American League West crown.

They had hoped to accomplish that Monday night, but they couldn't overcome a balk and a missed scoring chance in a 4-3 loss to Oakland that cemented the five AL teams in the postseason and eliminated Anaheim and Tampa Bay.

The Rangers clinched a playoff spot Sunday and need to win one of their final two games to secure the AL West for a third consecutice year. But they likely need to win out to topple New York for the top record in the league and the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.

“We've got to win tomorrow (Tuesday),” veteran Michael Young said. “We've been playing a lot of tight games, but this team has a lot of experience in those types of games.”

A jittery Martin Perez allowed two runs in the first inning, including one on a mindless balk, and Oakland scored two more off him in the fifth to break a 2-2 tie.

Mike Napoli homered to start the seventh, but three A's relievers retired the final nine Rangers hitters to set off the Oakland party.

The Rangers weren't bothered by the A's celebration, but instead said their division rivals deserved to have fun with the franchise's first playoff appearance since 2006.

“Of course they're going to be out there celebrating,” Napoli said. “Hats off to them, but we're worried about trying to win the division. We'll see what happens.”

The first two A's hitters singled against Perez, who then got Yoenis Cespedes to bounce into a double play. But Perez walked Chris Carter with two outs, and Josh Reddick followed with an RBI single.

After walking Josh Donaldson to load the bases, Perez started his full windup by stepping back with his right leg. But he stopped, committing an obvious balk to bring home a second run.

“I wasn't nervous,” said Perez, who threw 19 of his 31 pitches in the first outside the strike zone. “I put a little pressure on myself and then I started settling down.”

He retired 10 of the next 11 hitters as the Rangers came back to forge a 2-2 tie. Elvis Andrus singled in a run in the third and Young homered in the fourth, but Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre couldn't capitalize after Andrus' single with Mitch Moreland at third and one out.

“To me, that's the difference in the ballgame -- the balk and the situation where we couldn't get that run in,” manager Ron Washington said.

So, the Rangers are left to win today or Wednesday in the season finale to win the division and avoid having to play a one-game playoff as one of the two wild-card teams.

Matt Harrison, an 18-game winner, will face Travis Blackley in a rematch of a game Thursday that the Rangers won 9-7.

“I wouldn't call it precarious,” Washington said, “My team knows what has to be done. We just got beat tonight.”

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Wednesday, November 26Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, November 26Full Scoreboard
Portland 11/26 7:00 PM ET
Charlotte TV: CSN-NW, SPSO
Washington 11/26 7:00 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CSN-DC, FSN-OH
Golden State 11/26 7:00 PM ET
Orlando TV: CSN-BA, FSN-FL
Brooklyn 11/26 7:00 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: YES, CSN-PHI
Toronto 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Atlanta TV: SN 360, SPSO
New York 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: ESPN, MSG, FSN-SW
LA Clippers 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Detroit TV: FSN-PT, FSN-DET
Sacramento 11/26 8:00 PM ET
Houston TV: CSN-CA, ROOT-SW
Milwaukee 11/26 8:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FSN-WI, FSN-N+
Utah 11/26 8:00 PM ET
Oklahoma City TV: FSN-OK
Indiana 11/26 8:30 PM ET
San Antonio TV: FSN-IN, FSN-SW
Denver 11/26 9:00 PM ET
Phoenix TV: Altitude2, FSN-AZ
Memphis 11/26 10:30 PM ET
LA Lakers TV: NBA TV, SPSO, TWC SN
Full Scoreboard
Week 13Full Scoreboard
Thursday
Chicago 12:30 PM ET
Detroit TV: CBS
Philadelphia 4:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: FOX
Seattle 8:30 PM ET
San Francisco TV: NBC
Sunday
San Diego 1:00 PM ET
Baltimore TV: CBS
Cleveland 1:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: CBS
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Houston TV: CBS
Washington 1:00 PM ET
Indianapolis TV: FOX
NY Giants 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: FOX
Carolina 1:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FOX
New Orleans 1:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: FOX
Oakland 1:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: CBS
Cincinnati 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: CBS
Arizona 4:05 PM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
New England 4:25 PM ET
Green Bay TV: CBS
Denver 8:30 PM ET
Kansas City TV: NBC
Monday
Miami 8:30 PM ET
NY Jets TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, November 26Full Scoreboard
Washington 11/26 7:00 PM ET
NY Islanders TV: CSN-DC+, MSG+
Winnipeg 11/26 7:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: SN1, MSG-BUF
Philadelphia 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Detroit TV: NBCSN, TCN, FSN-DET+
NY Rangers 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: MSG 2, SUN
Carolina 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Florida TV: FSN-CAR, FSN-FL
Toronto 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: TVA Sports, SN, ROOT-PIT
Los Angeles 11/26 8:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FSN-W, FSN-N
Chicago 11/26 9:00 PM ET
Colorado TV: TVA 2, CSN-CH, Altitude
Calgary 11/26 10:30 PM ET
San Jose TV: SN-W, CSN-CA
Full Scoreboard