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Elephant Rumblings: A’s ready to play spoiler in AL West

News and notes for the A’s and the rest of Major League Baseball.

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Oakland Athletics v Texas Rangers Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images

The Oakland Athletics haven’t played a meaningful game all season, but they have the opportunity to play the role of spoiler over the next couple of weeks. The A’s took the series opener in Texas Friday night with a 6-3 win, handing the Rangers their fourth straight loss. After dominating the AL West standings for most of the season, the Rangers are now 1.5 games back of Toronto for the final playoff spot in the American League.

The A’s have two more games against the Rangers and will then head to Houston for three games. The Astros lead the AL West by just a half game over the Seattle Mariners. Oakland will see Seattle again as well starting September 18 when they come to the Coliseum for a three-game set.

This is a different Athletics team from what we saw for most of the season. The youth movement is in full swing and young players such as Zack Gelof and Lawrence Butler have woken up a roster that was destined to just play out the string. Gelof had two more hits in Friday’s win. Ryan Noda drove in two of Oakland’s six runs. Esteury Ruiz hit his fourth homer of the season. It is suddenly a fun group that is playing loose and that can be a dangerous thing for all three teams that are chasing the AL West crown.

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Zack Gelof with the heads up play

Esteury Ruiz with a game-tying homer

Shea Langeliers puts the A’s in front

Ryan Noda provides an insurance run

Langeliers on A’s Postgame Live

Mark Kotsay on Gelof scoring from second on an infield grounder