CLEVELAND -- The Rangers went into Sunday's game with a record of 78-54. That's the second-best record for the Rangers after 132 games in club history. But the Rangers have not been able to shake off the surprising Oakland Athletics. Instead, the Rangers have lost 2 1/2 games off their lead in the last four days.
The A's took an eight-game winning streak into Sunday and have won 14 of their past 16, leaving them just three games behind the Rangers in the American League West. The two teams have seven more games against each other.
"They're hot," manager Ron Washington said. "It's September 2 and they're three games out, you've got to figure they're real. We'll see how real they are when 162 games are over.
'They have young pitching that's been good all year and they have players not under pressure to produce. They've all been good Minor League players, and now they're jelling. And they've got a good manager. People always wonder about their run production, now they're scoring so many runs right now ... they're doing well. They feel good about themselves. They're doing a good job."
The Rangers play the A's seven times in the last 10 days of the season. The A's come to Arlington Sept. 24-27 and the Rangers go to Oakland to close out the season on Oct. 1-3.
"We've got seven games left with them," Washington said. "We'll find out. It should be fun."