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A's offense wakes up: A's 13, Rangers 8

Boy, no matter what button Ron Washington pushed today, everything in the Rangers' bullpen was wired directly to the "self-destruct" subroutine, wasn't it?

What struck me the most about the A's 9-run explosion in the 7th wasn't the sheer total of runs, or the consistent good-to-great plate approaches by the A's (culminating in Ellis's marathon 13-pitch AB where he finally homered), or the general suckiness of the Rangers' relievers. No, it was the immediate and unrelenting suckiness of the Rangers' relievers.

Wash yanks Feldman after 6, and brings in Jamey Wright to start the 7th? Immediate and unrelenting suckiness.

Wash gets fed up with Wright after 4 batters, and brings in Tejeda? Immediate and unrelenting suckiness.

Wash gives Tejeda an even shorter leash, and yanks him after 3 batters for the chair-throwin' Frank Francisco? Immediate and unrelenting suckiness.

Francisco ultimately got the Rangers out of the inning (hard-hit ball by Chavez, then Ks of Buck and Gonzalez, both of whom had more than proven themselves earlier in the game; heck, earlier in the inning), but his results were perhaps even more directly disastrous than his predecessors' surrendering HRs to Cust and Ellis.

And all of that came on the heels of the Rangers dropping a five-spot on the A's just the half-inning before.

Sure, every game at Arlington has the chance to erupt like this, thanks to the weather, the dimensions, and the annually immediate and unrelenting suckiness of the Rangers pitching. But that was one insane back-to-back pair of half-innings.

Greg Smith certainly did give up a no-doubter HR to Bradley in the 1st, but all the rest of the damage the Rangers did was of the station-to-station variety. Even after giving up 7 runs, I don't think he's ready for us to declare him mediocre. (Although perhaps I'm just not ready to face facts.)

So, the A's managed to salvage a game in the series, break their losing streak, and hold off the Rangers from catching them in the West -- but apparently the Blue Jays pulled a choke job against the Angels, so the A's didn't gain ground.

Tigers in town tomorrow, with Coliseum King Kenny Rogers against Harden.