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A's Flirt With Sweep, But Have to Settle for Three

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The A's put on their usual ninth inning teAse against C.J. Wilson and the Texas Rangers, but they came up just short, as Mark Ellis flew out to end the game, leaving the tying runs on first and second.

Tommy Hunter, clearly upset at being left off today's game thread introduction, pitched a great game against the A's this afternoon, all but stifling the A's newly-resurgent offense.He out-pitched the A's Trevor Cahill to get the win, and Wilson barely hung on to get the save.

Trevor Cahill was marginally better today; giving up his customary homeruns to left-handers, but did strike out six. He looked pretty good for the first four innings, but just couldn't hold the Rangers to the two early solo homeruns. He ended up with 5 ER's on his line in six innings; he started the seventh, but didn't record an out.

The A's offense got on the board early against Hunter as they staged a two-out rally; a walk to Cust and a double by Nomar brought the first run in, and the second run scored when Saltalamacchia misfired the ball back to the pitcher. He was taken out the very next half-inning for injury reasons.

The 2-0 lead would be cut in half in the second, as Blalock homered against Cahill, and the Rangers would tie the game in the third on a homerun by Young.

Meanwhile, Hunter was busy mowing down the A's lineup. The Rangers would take the lead on a fifth inning single and a sixth inning sac fly, and although the A's got one run back in the bottom of the sixth on a RBI-double by Rajai Davis (who else?), they just couldn't break through against Hunter.

The Rangers added two more runs when Springer came into the game in the seventh, and they took a 6-3 lead into the ninth inning. After Cust and Nomar took called third strikes (these outs would end up being important), Everidge singled to keep the game alive. Hairston, batting for Sweeney, doubled down the line to score the A's fourth and final run, and Suzuki pinch hit for Landon Powell. He walked.

Mark Ellis came up to bat and took the first pitch for a ball, but he swung at the second and flied out to left. Not the ending that A's fans had scripted. 

But all in all, taking 3 out of 4 from the Rangers is a wildly successful series, and we have seen a lot of great signs from this young team recently. Expect more roster changes, as Jeff Gray came up today (and pitched!), and Giambi is still somewhere in the wings, waiting to get back on the field.

The A's fly to Kansas City now; they will take on the Royals at 5:10 tomorrow night.