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Game Thread #21: Oakland Athletics vs. Texas Rangers

What could have been an AWESOME final game in the series is somewhat tainted now, as the A's dropped two one-run games to the Rangers to open this series, as the ninth inning continues to be a struggle for the A's pitchers. April and all that, but you hate to lose Division games to your rivals at any point in the season.

Thearon W. Henderson

Ugh. I know the A's have started the season on a (mostly) winning note. I know that they are still in first place. I also know it's still April. But still...ugh. I'm usually not one to get down on a loss or two, but last night stung. It stung because I can't stop the "what if" reel that keeps playing, and keeps reminding me that we're going to regret losing a 4 game swing to the Rangers later in the year, especially when last night's game was all but in the bag.

I guess the bright side is that all of the A's 20 games so far this year have been winnable; the A's have been in every game, thanks in large part to their fantastic starting pitching (despite all of the no-decisions they are being handed), but you have to win the games you are leading in the ninth. Period. End of story. And I'm not sure what the solution is, but I know a win would go a long way to making me feel better today as the A's try to avoid the sweep, sending Sonny Gray to the mound in search of his fourth win of the year.

The A's offense will be facing off against the lefty Martin Perez with Punto and Barton picking up 8 and 9 in the lineup. Gentry will be leading off. I'll be honest...the lineup looks rather ugly at first glance, so let's hope for the best.

Here are your lineups:

Today's Lineups

Michael Choice - LF Craig Gentry - CF
Elvis Andrus - SS Jed Lowrie - SS
Alex Rios - RF Josh Donaldson - 3B
Prince Fielder - 1B Yoenis Cespedes - LF
Mitch Moreland - DH Derek Norris - C
Donnie Murphy - 2B Alberto Callaspo - DH
Robinson Chirinos - C Josh Reddick - RF
Leonys Martin - CF Nick Punto - 2B
Josh Wilson - 3B Daric Barton - 1B
Martin Perez - LHP Sonny Gray - RHP