Game Thread #109: Oakland Athletics vs. Texas Rangers

Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

Can you say...AL West Showdown? 'Cause ready or not (and boy have the A's looked "not"), the Rangers are here, ready to chip away some more at the A's 3 1/2 game lead in the West. The A's need to stop the sloppy play, pitch well, and hit the ball. Is that all?

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Happy Friday and a warm welcome to Oakland, CA, where national attention has moved to the AL West, as the A's and Rangers belly up to the figurative bar in an AL West showdown that will swing the momentum in one team's favor. As recently as a blink of an eye ago, the A's held a fun six-game lead over the Rangers, but you have the Angels to thank for that one. The Angels allowed the Rangers to come back in every game, and while the A's were losing games against bad teams, the Rangers were winning theirs. So here we are. The A's looked positively terrible on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week; they haven't been doing a lot right lately, despite their fabulous record. And since "Wild Card" isn't in our future--I've decided the A's should just never play an elimination game again; win in four, is my motto--the A's should probably try to figure out how to play better baseball in this series.

Tommy Milone will take the mound for the A's tonight, in front of what is hopefully a sold-out crowd, fresh off a great start. He will be opposed by Alexi Ogando. The A's are playing Sogard today, Reddick is back in the lineup, apparently concussion-free, and Norris will be doing the catching. Can we PLEASE score some runs?

Here are your lineups:

LET'S GO OAK-LAND!

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