Series: Game 3 of 3

Texas won 2-1

Game 1: Tuesday, September 20
Game 2: Wednesday, September 21
Game 3: Thursday, September 22

Rangers 3

(90-66, 41-37 away)

Athletics 4

(70-86, 43-38 home)

    3:35 PM ET, September 22, 2011 Coliseum, Oakland, California 

    123456789 R H E
    TEX 020001000 3 10 0
    OAK 10000111 - 4 6 0

    W: G. Balfour (5-2)

    L: M. Adams (1-3)

    S: A. Bailey (21)

    Rangers-Athletics Preview


    The Texas Rangers are getting closer to back-to-back AL West titles for the second time, and Colby Lewis' recent history against the Oakland Athletics should tilt the odds in their favor.

    Lewis tries to become the first Rangers pitcher in 37 years to beat the A's five times in a season as Texas seeks a three-game sweep at Coliseum on Thursday.

    Texas (90-65) leads the West by five games over Los Angeles with seven games left in the regular season, including the final three on the road versus the Angels.

    The Rangers may have a second straight division title clinched before that series, as their magic number was reduced to three following Wednesday's 3-2 win over Oakland (69-86). They won consecutive West crowns in 1998-99.

    Kinsler and Josh Hamilton hit solo homers in the eighth inning, helping Texas win for the eighth time in nine games.

    "We went through some ups and downs this year but we were able to stay pretty consistent," second baseman Ian Kinsler said. "Right now we're playing good baseball and we just want to make sure we continue that."

    Lewis (13-10, 4.45 ERA) will try to help Texas complete its second straight three-game sweep in Oakland. The right-hander is 5-0 with a 2.63 ERA in his last six starts against the A's, winning all three visits to Oakland behind a 1.77 ERA.

    Lewis has won four of five season meetings with the A's, and is vying to become the first Rangers pitcher to beat them five times since Fergie Jenkins in 1974.

    He beat the A's again Sept. 9, yielding three runs with seven strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings of a 13-4 victory.

    Lewis needed to be bailed out by his offense in Saturday's 7-6 victory at Seattle after allowing six runs -- four in the second -- in 5 2/3 innings.

    "I felt really good but overall I think I just had a couple brain farts really more than anything," Lewis said.

    The Rangers have won 12 of the last 13 meetings with the A's, batting .316 with 15 homers while averaging 7.0 runs per game.

    Kinsler has reached base safely in 20 consecutive meetings against Oakland, hitting .357 with nine doubles, two homers and 18 runs. Hamilton is 8 for 18 with two homers and four RBIs in his last four games overall.

    Oakland has dropped six of eight and been outscored 13-4 during a three-game skid.

    Trevor Cahill (11-14, 4.31) gets the ball in the A's home season finale, and he's lost three of his last four there with a 5.18 ERA.

    The right-hander was charged with a 3-1 loss to Detroit at the Coliseum on Friday, allowing three runs and nine hits with four walks in 6 2/3 innings. He wasn't any better six days prior when he gave up five runs in five innings of an 8-7 win at Texas.

    He's 3-2 with a 2.91 ERA in five starts against the Rangers, splitting two at home with a 1.88 ERA.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Gameday Matchup

    Current StreakW6W2
    Last 109-15-5

    Pitching Matchup

    C. Lewis
    14-10, 4.40 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/27 at LAA
    6.0 IP, 2 ER
    Dec = Win
    T. Cahill
    12-14, 4.16 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/27 at SEA
    7.0 IP, 0 ER
    Dec = Win

    Gameday Lineups

    1. I. Kinsler, 2B J. Weeks, 2B
    2. E. Andrus, SS C. Crisp, CF
    3. J. Hamilton, LF H. Matsui, DH
    4. M. Young, 1B J. Willingham, LF
    5. A. Beltre, 3B D. DeJesus, RF
    6. D. Murphy, RF C. Pennington, SS
    7. N. Cruz, DH B. Allen, 1B
    8. Y. Torrealba, C K. Suzuki, C
    9. C. Gentry, CF E. Sogard, 3B

    Research Notes

    Kurt Suzuki is 4-for-21 (.190) with five strikeouts in his career against Colby Lewis, but two of his hits are home runs.

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