Rangers hope to play catch-up at West-leading Oakland

06/15/2014 4:16 PM

06/15/2014 4:17 PM

SEATTLE Manager Ron Washington gave a pretty frank answer when asked about the importance of the Texas Rangers’ three-game series this week at division-leading Oakland.

“We’ve got to go in there and play well, or we could get buried,” Washington said.

Said third baseman Adrian Beltre: “We have to beat the guys in front of us. They’re in front. They’ve won the West the last two years.”

At the same time, though, Washington doesn’t want to put too much emphasis on the series. He’s not going to call a meeting to fire-up the team. If the pitching holds up, he believes the Rangers will be fine.

But it didn’t hold up in late April at Globe Life Park, when the A’s swept three games. None of the Rangers’ three starters lasted five innings, including the shortest out of Yu Darvish’s career at just 3 1/3 innings.

Colby Lewis will start the opener Monday. He hasn’t faced the A’s since suffering a torn flexor tendon during a start July 18, 2012.

Lewis has an enormous bruise on his right biceps after taking a line drive there Tuesday, but he said there is no pain.

“I haven’t had any problems,” said Lewis, who is 4-4 with a 5.74 ERA. “I’m just hoping to find that consistency.”

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