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Elephant Rumblings: Rangers Sweep Orioles, Advance to ALCS

The win marks the Rangers’ first trip to the ALCS since their 2011 run.

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Division Series - Baltimore Orioles v Texas Rangers - Game Three Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Happy Wednesday, Athletics Nation!

A couple of lopsided victories took place on Tuesday on the American League side of the playoff bracket. First, the Houston Astros took the series lead back with a 9-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins.

The headline of the day, though, was the Texas Rangers finishing their sweep of the AL-leading Baltimore Orioles, moving them forward to the AL Championship Series. Despite the Rangers boasting the best offense and the second-best run differential in the AL (behind the Rays), their persistent bullpen problems led to a second-half dropoff that ended with them losing the AL West division title to the Astros on the last day of the regular season. Their 14-22 record in one-run games was the worst among playoff teams, whereas the Orioles had the best at 30-16.

The Rangers exorcised their close-game demons in Game 1 of the series, holding the O’s scoreless for the last 3 innings of the game to hold onto their narrow 3-2 lead. Game 2, on the other hand, showcased their bullpen issues when they allowed 3 runs in the 9th inning. Fortunately for them, their lineup had already bashed enough to withstand such a meltdown. Today’s game was a different story. From the 2nd inning on, it was the Rangers’ game to lose. With playoff hero Nathan Eovaldi pitching 7 strong innings and the offense providing as many runs, it was a smooth victory that finally gets the Rangers back to the ALCS 12 years after their 2011 run.

If the Astros can close it out against the Twins, we’ll get a highly anticipated matchup between the Texas rivals. While we all wish, pray, and fantasize that the Oakland A’s were one of those AL West teams riding a high, we’ll at least have what’s sure to be a fun and bombastic series to distract us from our pain.

A’s Coverage:

MLB News & Interest:

Best of X:

Can confirm. When I went to Vegas last month, the Lids store still had the Raiders and Dodgers logos hung outside.

Throw hard, play hard. (Stevie Emanuels was also on this list.)

Oof, more bad luck for Weisenburger.

It’s giving Big Papi.

Don’t worry, he’ll be back.