5 days that defined the Rangers' season

5 days that defined the Rangers' season

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers had a remarkable run to the seventh division title in club history. It would take forever to go through all the remarkable and intense victories that carried them through the season.

The highlight reel would last for hours, so it's better to sum up with the all-too-familiar records. Entering Monday, the Rangers are 36-11 in one-run games, with 47 comeback victories and nine walk-off wins.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Loss pushes Rangers back to No. 2 seed

Loss pushes Rangers back to No. 2 seed

ARLINGTON -- The Brewers were long ago eliminated from postseason contention, but the way Matt Garza sees it, they are still playing meaningful baseball.

Carlos Gomez drove in a pair of runs against his former team, but the Rangers slipped a half-game behind the idle Red Sox in the race for home-field advantage throughout the postseason with an 8-3 loss to the Brewers on a big Monday night for Milwaukee leadoff man Jonathan Villar.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Ryan Posner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Texas.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Bauman

Lucroy difference-maker for AL West champs

Lucroy difference-maker for AL West champs

ARLINGTON -- The best non-waiver Trade Deadline acquisition by a contending team this year was made by the Rangers when they acquired catcher Jonathan Lucroy from the Brewers.

You can name other clubs that made necessary improvements, such as the Cubs, trading for closer Aroldis Chapman, or the Nationals, trading for closer Mark Melancon. The Dodgers made substantial improvements, too.

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Mike Bauman is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Andrus providing spark at bottom of order

Andrus providing spark at bottom of order

ARLINGTON -- There's been a lot of shuffling in the Rangers' order this season, but one constant has been the spark provided by shortstop Elvis Andrus at the bottom of the lineup.

Andrus' three hits were a few of the lone bright spots during the Rangers' 8-3 loss to the Brewers on Monday night, and it moved his average to .302. He's never ended a season with an average of at least .300. The closest Andrus came was in 2012, when he hit .286.

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Ryan Posner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Texas. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jeffress turns in 1 1/3 scoreless frames in return

Jeffress turns in 1 1/3 scoreless frames in return

ARLINGTON -- Rangers right-hander Jeremy Jeffress made his first appearance since being activated from the restricted list, against the team that he was traded from on Aug. 1 in Monday's 8-3 loss to the Brewers.

Jeffress didn't allow a hit, striking out one, in his 1 1/3 innings of work against his former club. He hadn't pitched for the Rangers since Aug. 23, after spending 22 days in a Houston-area rehabilitation clinic following a DWI arrest in Dallas.

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Ryan Posner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Texas. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Beltre putts ball away on dropped third strike

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Beltre putts ball away on dropped third strike

Throughout this season, Adrian Beltre has graced us with highlight after highlight after ... highlight? At this point, he's more than just a really good baseball player, he's also one of the hardest working stand-up comedians there is -- touring cities around the country for six months straight. 

During the Brewers' 8-3 win over the Rangers on Monday, he was at it again with some brand new material. After striking out on a dropped third strike against Matt Garza in the fifth inning, it was time for some mini-golf.

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In quest for home field, Rangers turn to Griffin

In quest for home field, Rangers turn to Griffin

Right-hander A.J. Griffin will make what is likely his final start of the season when he faces the Brewers on Tuesday night at Globe Life Park. Milwaukee will send out right-hander Jimmy Nelson for Game 2 of the three-game set.

Home-field advantage throughout the postseason is still of huge importance to the Rangers after clinching the American League West last Friday. Following their 8-3 loss on Monday, the Rangers slipped a half-game behind the idle Red Sox and are now the No. 2 seed. If the playoffs began now, the Rangers would host the AL Central champion Indians in the AL Division Series.

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Ryan Posner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Texas. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Former Brewers abound in Rangers' dugout

Former Brewers abound in Rangers' dugout

ARLINGTON -- How did Carlos Gomez salvage his season after leaving the Astros for the Rangers? It helped that he walked into a new clubhouse full of familiar faces.

They're the Texas Brewers, or the Milwaukee Rangers if you like. Gomez joined a Texas team with three former teammates from his years in Milwaukee, including two from the 2011 Brewers club that came within two victories of the World Series. Prince Fielder, Jonathan Lucroy and Jeremy Jeffress made Gomez feel comfortable from the "Go-Go."

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers' pursuit of home-field advantage hits snag

Rangers' pursuit of home-field advantage hits snag

OAKLAND -- Athletics rookie right-hander Jharel Cotton continued the terrific start to his Major League career and the Rangers were the latest team to be impressed.

Cotton sent the Rangers back into a tie with the Red Sox for the best record in the American League by pitching the Athletics to a 7-1 victory on Sunday afternoon at the Coliseum. Cotton, making his fourth Major League start, allowed just one run on three hits over a career-high seven innings on just 70 pitches. Cotton is now 2-0 with a 1.44 ERA in his four starts.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dyson remembers former teammate Fernandez

Rangers reliever reflects on Marlins ace's 'passion and enjoyment'

OAKLAND -- Rangers reliever Sam Dyson was teammates with pitcher Jose Fernandez while with the Marlins. They shared the same passion for fishing and Dyson spent two weeks one offseason working out with Fernandez in Miami.

Dyson is just one of many throughout the game saddened by the news that Fernandez and two others were killed in a boating accident off Miami Beach early Sunday morning.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Postseason Preview: The Texas Rangers

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Postseason Preview: The Texas Rangers

It's almost time for the postseason! As teams punch their tickets to the October party, we're taking a look back at their seasons -- giving away some Season Superlatives and also offering you a chance to learn which member of the team you actually are. 

The Rangers are great. In fact, they're the best in the AL West (rhyme absolutely intentional). They clinched a postseason spot on Friday night with a 3-0 win over the A's and made sure to celebrate in the messiest way possible. 

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Beltre runs way out of basepaths while in rundown

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Beltre runs way out of basepaths while in rundown

Adrian Beltre got the day off during Saturday's 5-0 win over the Athletics -- his reward for the team clinching the American League West crown the night before. Beltre doesn't really do days off, though. If he isn't allowed to play, he'll still be on the top step of the dugout giving out (somewhat incomprehensible) defensive alignments.

Beltre was back out on the field for Sunday's game in Oakland, and he had a lot of pent-up energy to burn. So sure, he might have been caught in a rundown in the top of the second, but he would not give up easily. Instead, he decided to go around in a few circles, and then onto the infield grass:

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Lewis feels great, is unconcerned by rough start

Rangers righty allowed seven runs in just 1 1/3 innings

Lewis feels great, is unconcerned by rough start

OAKLAND -- Colby Lewis said he felt great. That's all that seemed to matter Sunday afternoon, even if he did equal the shortest outing of his career.

Lewis gave up seven runs in a 7-1 loss to the Athletics on Sunday afternoon. Lewis threw 52 pitches before being pulled after 1 1/3 innings for the third time in his career. The last time was June 11, 2011.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Choo on mission to get ready for postseason

Rangers outfielder heads to Instructional League to compile at-bats

Choo on mission to get ready for postseason

OAKLAND -- Shin-Soo Choo has left the Rangers and is headed to Arizona for three days of Instructional League.

Choo is recovering from a broken left forearm and the Rangers want to find out if he can be ready for the postseason. Choo is hoping to play as soon as Friday against the Rays, but the Rangers are waiting to see how he performs in Instructional League games.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers blank A's, move closer to home field

Rangers blank A's, move closer to home field

OAKLAND -- The Rangers went with a makeshift lineup on Saturday, the day after clinching the American League West title, but not every regular could get the afternoon off.

The Rangers only have so many players on the bench, so Elvis Andrus had to play. He ended up having a day to remember as he hit two home runs in a game for the first time in his career in a 5-0 victory over the Athletics at the Coliseum. The victory left the Rangers 92-63, the best record in the American League.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Justin Wise is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area and covered the A's on Saturday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yu tosses 7 scoreless, earns first Coliseum W

Yu tosses 7 scoreless, earns first Coliseum W

OAKLAND -- The Rangers have not only wrapped up the American League West during their weekend visit to the Coliseum, but they also had back-to-back outstanding performances from the two starting pitchers who will lead them into the playoffs.

Yu Darvish, emulating what Cole Hamels did on Friday night, threw seven scoreless innings in a 5-0 victory over the A's on Saturday afternoon. Darvish was in complete command, allowing just two singles and a walk while striking out nine.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

West is won: Rangers clinch 7th division title

West is won: Rangers clinch 7th division title

OAKLAND -- The end came with runners at first and second on a high chopper to Rougned Odor. The Rangers' second baseman charged it and casually flipped the baseball to shortstop Elvis Andrus for the force.

With that final play, the Rangers officially returned to the top of the American League West for the second straight year and seventh time in club history. They did so with a 3-0 victory over the Athletics at the Coliseum, and now they wait to see who their opponent will be in the AL Division Series.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers start clinch celebration with ginger ale

Rangers start clinch celebration with ginger ale

OAKLAND -- The Rangers planned Friday's postgame celebration around pitchers Matt Bush and Jeremy Jeffress.

The Rangers, after clinching the American League West title with a 3-0 victory over the Athletics, began their clubhouse celebration with ginger ale for Bush and Jeffress. Both players are dealing with alcohol afflictions and didn't need to be around when the champagne corks went off.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hamels, Beltre help Rangers punch their ticket

Hamels, Beltre help Rangers punch their ticket

OAKLAND -- The Rangers, after avoiding a perfect game being thrown against them by Athletics starter Kendall Graveman, have wrapped up their seventh American League West title.

The Rangers did that behind the pitching of Cole Hamels with a 3-0 victory on Friday night at the Coliseum. Adrian Beltre's two-run home run was the big blow that allowed the Rangers to celebrate a division title with eight games to go.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Justin Wise is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers' goal shifts to home-field advantage

Division title secured, Texas eyes AL's best record

Rangers' goal shifts to home-field advantage

OAKLAND -- What's next? Who knows.

By clinching the American League West title with eight games left in the regular season, thanks to a 3-0 win over the A's on Friday night, the Rangers have plenty of time to rest and relax before the postseason begins. But there is still work to be done.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Rangers follow unorthodox path to AL West crown

Texas overcomes inconsistent rotation, roster turnover to win division

Rangers follow unorthodox path to AL West crown

This isn't the team the Texas Rangers believed they would have. In these closing weeks, their lineup frequently has included five or six players who weren't on the Opening Day roster and three who weren't even in the organization. That's why this American League West championship -- secured in a 3-0 win over Oakland on Friday -- might be the sweetest of them all.

Oh, and there's All-Star center fielder Ian Desmond. He wasn't in the original blueprint either. But when he was still a free agent at the beginning of Spring Training, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels saw him as a chance to strengthen his team.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Andrus and Odor poured Gatorade on their own heads

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Andrus and Odor poured Gatorade on their own heads

After defeating the Athletics, 3-0, on Friday night (oddly enough, it wasn't a one-run game as the Rangers are one of the best teams in history, going 36-11 in those contests), it was time to celebrate. After all, the Rangers had just wrapped up their fourth AL West crown in the last seven years. 

And how, do you ask, is the best way to celebrate? If you're Elvis Andrus and Rougned Odor, you douse yourself in the cool, refreshing flavored waters: 

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Choo surprised by how well BP goes

Choo surprised by how well BP goes

OAKLAND -- Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, on the disabled list recovering from a broken left forearm, took batting practice on the field Friday and is holding out hope he could be back in the lineup before the regular season ends.

"It went great," Choo said. "I expected to feel something a little bit, but I was surprised. I didn't feel anything. The ball came off the bat normal. I was very surprised."

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Contrite Jeffress rejoins Rangers

Contrite Jeffress rejoins Rangers

OAKLAND -- Reliever Jeremy Jeffress is back with the Rangers after a 22-day stay in a Houston rehabilitation clinic.

Jeffress has been on the restricted list after being arrested on Aug. 26 in Dallas for suspicion of driving while intoxicated. He was cleared to return by Major League Baseball and the Players Association.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Source: Rangers to sign Cuban INF Perez

Source: Rangers to sign Cuban INF Perez

The Rangers on Thursday agreed to a $1.1 million deal with Cuban infielder Yanio Perez, a source told MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez. The club has not confirmed the report.

Perez, who turned 21 on Aug. 10, ranks 13th on MLBPipeline.com's list of this year's top 30 International Prospects. He became eligible to sign on May 20, after leaving Cuba last summer.

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Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Holland, Scheppers going in different directions

Holland, Scheppers going in different directions

ARLINGTON -- Derek Holland is frustrated, but trying not to let it get him down. Tanner Scheppers is feeling "blessed," but trying not to show too much elation.

The two longtime Rangers pitchers have been through much over the past three seasons, and their current situations were both subject for review after the Rangers' 5-4 loss to the Angels on Wednesday night at Globe Life Park.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels, Rangers see dust-up differently

Angels, Rangers see dust-up differently

ARLINGTON -- The Angels and Rangers on Wednesday continued to voice their drastically differing opinions about Tuesday night's events, with participants on both teams casting themselves as the good guys and their opponents as the villains.

To Angels manager Mike Scioscia, his shortstop, Andrelton Simmons, didn't break any rules, written or unwritten, when he tagged Carlos Gomez out at second base. To Gomez, Simmons blocked the bag and could have injured him as he slid.

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Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

With loss to Halos, Texas' magic No. stays at 2

With loss to Halos, Texas' magic No. stays at 2

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers will have to wait until they get to Oakland before they get another chance to clinch the American League West.

They were hoping to do that at home on Wednesday, but that didn't happen, as the Astros defeated the Athletics in the afternoon and the Rangers went down, 5-4, to the Angels in a night game at Globe Life Park.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas and covered the Angels on Wednesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.