Final

Series: Game 4 of 4

Series tied 2-2 (as of 9/27)

Game 1: Monday, September 24
Oakland4Final
Texas5
Game 2: Tuesday, September 25
Oakland3Final
in 10
Texas2
Game 3: Wednesday, September 26
Oakland9Final
Texas3
Game 4: Thursday, September 27
Oakland7Final
Texas9

Athletics 7

(88-68, 44-37 away)

Rangers 9

(92-64, 49-29 home)

    Coverage:  FSSW

    2:05 PM ET, September 27, 2012

    Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    OAK 011200030 7 11 2
    TEX 51120000 - 9 14 0

    W: M. Harrison (18-10)

    L: T. Blackley (5-4)

    S: J. Nathan (36)

    Rangers hold on to beat Athletics, extend division lead

    Associated Press

    ARLINGTON, Texas -- Ian Kinsler and the Texas Rangers moved closer to another AL West title with a split.

    They can now wrap up another division title at home even before having to face the chasing Athletics again next week in Oakland.

    Kinsler hit a leadoff homer to start a five-run first inning, Matt Harrison got his 18th victory and the two-time defending American League champions held on for a 9-7 victory Thursday. By splitting the four-game series, the Rangers maintained their four-game division lead over the A's with six to play.

    "Never doubted it," manager Ron Washington said of his team's response after losing consecutive games at home. "The worse we were looking for was a split. They can also play, and we got what we wanted."

    The Rangers' magic number for clinching was three heading into a weekend series at home against the Los Angeles Angels, starting Friday.

    Kinsler's 19th homer was his majors-best seventh leadoff shot this season. The Rangers had four consecutive two-out hits, capped by Mike Napoli's two-run homer off Travis Blackley (5-4).

    That came after the A's (88-68) had their own five-run first inning in a 9-3 win Wednesday night, after winning in 10 innings the night before that.

    Texas (92-64) scored in each of the first four innings against three different pitchers, matching Oakland run-for-run in the second through the fourth until the A's hit three solo homers in the eighth off Mike Adams.

    "We constantly kept the momentum in our favor, if you don't look at the three home runs in the eighth. We responded to them," Kinsler said. "We want to be a team that's tough to put away."

    Josh Reddick homered twice for the A's, who wrapped up a 20-game stretch of six series in six cities and won 12 times. They finish the regular season at home, with a three-game weekend series against Seattle before hosting the Rangers starting Monday night.

    ""We don't have any negative thoughts right now," Reddick said. "It's going to be good to go home. We've been on the road for a month. ... We can't rely on LA to lose and we can't rely on Texas to fall back. We know we're just not going to back down."

    The A's, whose 51-26 record since the start of July is best in the majors, were 1 1/2 games ahead of Los Angeles for the AL's second wild card. The Angels played later Thursday at home against Seattle.

    Harrison (18-10) went six innings, allowing four runs and seven hits, to become the Rangers' first 18-game winner since Kenny Rogers in 2004.

    The All-Star left-hander is scheduled to start once more in the regular season, with a chance for the most wins since Rick Helling's 20 in 1998.

    "Matt wasn't at his best, but he was able to fight through a lot of things and he was able to make pitches when he had to," Washington said.

    "It was a battle for me all day," Harrison said. "All credit goes to the offense. They scored nine runs, kept us on top of the game."

    Joe Nathan worked a perfect ninth with two strikeouts for his 36th save in 38 chances.

    Reddick had one of Oakland's homers in the eighth off reliever Mike Adams. Jonny Gomes had three hits, including an RBI double.

    Blackley lasted only one inning, allowing five runs and five hits with a wild pitch.

    "I felt pretty good when I threw in the bullpen before the game. When I get out there, the ball is just not going where I want it," Blackley said. "I'm just not getting it down. I'm not throwing my off-speed pitches for strikes and falling behind. Even when my pitches did get down, they found holes."

    Kinsler extended his own franchise record with his 27th career leadoff homer. Adrian Beltre, Nelson Cruz and Michael Young then had two-out singles before Napoli's opposite-field homer to right-center.

    Josh Hamilton got his 125th RBI with a double in the Texas second, an inning before Napoli's run-scoring single made it 7-2.

    Reddick, who snapped a season-worst 0-for-30 slump with singles in his last two at-bats Wednesday night, made it three hits in a row when he pulled a pitch into the second deck of seats in right field in the second inning for his 30th homer of the season.

    Derek Norris hit a two-run homer in the fourth for Oakland to make it 7-4. Yoenis Cespedes led off the eighth with his 22nd homer and Brandon Moss hit his 20th before Reddick homered again.

    "We didn't look good early. But to battle back like that, we would have had a chance to tie the game if we got a runner on base in the ninth," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "That's testament to how good they played."

    Game notes


    Texas and Oakland have split their 16 games this season. ... A's rookie A.J. Griffin (6-1) starts the series opener against Seattle. ... Ryan Dempster, 7-2 for Texas since being acquired from the Chicago Cubs on July 31, starts against Angels ace Jered Weaver (19-4). ... Oakland batters struck out seven times, extending the American League season record the A's set Wednesday night to 1,340 with six games to play. ... Napoli was 0 for 11 with six strikeouts in the series before his homer.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Game Information

    StadiumGlobe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, TX
    Attendance43,796 (90.9% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
    Game Time2:56
    Weather86 degrees, cloudy
    Wind10 mph
    UmpiresHome Plate - Paul Emmel, First Base - Ron Kulpa, Second Base - Wally Bell, Third Base - Jim Wolf

    Research Notes

    Josh Reddick hit two home runs for the A's on Thursday, giving him 31 for the season. He joins a very impressive list of Athletics players age 25 or younger to hit 30+ HR in a season.
      [+]
    Josh Reddick went deep in the 2nd inning for the Athletics, reaching his milestone 30th HR this season. Reddick becomes the 1st A's player to reach the 30 HR plateau since Jack Cust hit 33 in 2008. He's just the 7th different Athletics player to hit 30 or more HR since 2000.
      [+]

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