Ron Washington went to bed Saturday night once the Anaheim Angels had taken a 5-0 lead over the New York Yankees in the seventh inning, hoping he'd wake up on Sunday morning to find out the Yankees had rallied late.
They didn't, though. The Angels went on to a 6-0 victory, and ended up taking two of three from New York over the weekend. The Rangers, meanwhile, took two of three from the Athletics, and maintained a 21/2-game lead in the American League West.
The Angels opened a three-game series -- and 10-game road trip -- at Oakland on Monday night.
With 15 games left on their schedule, the Rangers know the Angels aren't going away quietly.
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"They can pitch," Washington said. "I don't care how you draw up a scenario, those guys can pitch. Whether it's out of the bullpen, out of the starting rotation, you've got to win some of these games when you put up two or three runs."
The Angels have done that behind Jered Weaver, Ervin Santana and Dan Haren. They are 56-37 when one of those three starts.
If all pitch on regular rest, they would each make three more starts. Weaver could come back on three days' rest for the season finale against the Rangers on Sept. 28, while Haren would start the first game of the series and Santana the second.
But the Rangers and Angels aren't looking that far ahead. As Josh Hamilton said, "one game at a time is the saying around here."
"Human nature tells us we'll peek up there and see what the scores are," reliever Mike Adams said. "But the bottom line is if we don't take care of our business, it's not going to matter. We can't worry about what Anaheim does, and you can't hope for them to lose. They're playing good baseball. But if we keep winning, we'll be all right."
Derek Holland agreed, and knows the Angels could still conceivably catch up with Boston or Tampa Bay for the wild card. LA trailed Boston by five games entering Monday.
"They're playing good ball," Holland said. "... But we can't be scoreboard watching because we'll get too caught up in it, and not worry about what we have to do."
Right now, what the Rangers need to do is fairly simple. They have five remaining series, three on the road and two at home. The Angels have embarked on their 10-game, three-city road trip to Oakland, Baltimore and Toronto.
"We just need to win," Ian Kinsler said. "We've played well all year, and we feel like we've gotten better as the season has gone on. And [Nelson] Cruz should be back Tuesday, and we'll have our lineup in order, so maybe we'll take off from there."
The Rangers have persevered throughout the season without some of their main offensive pieces. Adrian Beltre missed 37 games with a left hamstring strain, Josh Hamilton missed 36 games with an injured right shoulder and Cruz has missed 29 with a strained right quad and a left hamstring strain. With them out of the lineup because of injuries, the Rangers held steady with a 50-52 record.
"You don't know who's going to come up with the big hit or drive in the big run, that's what's great about our offense," Mitch Moreland said. "This offense can overcome a lot."
Now, the team just needs to overcome the Angels.
Follow Drew Davison on Twitter @drewdavison.