Athletics drop 2 of 3 to Angels, but maintain West lead

The Oakland Athletics dropped the final game of the series on Wednesday afternoon in a frustrating loss the LA Angels.  The Athletics were 2 outs away from securing a 4-2 victory when usually reliable closer Grant Balfour gave up a 2-run home run to Josh Hamilton to tie the game.  The Angels would go on to score 1 run in the top of the 11th inning to take a 5-4 lead, which would hold up to give them the victory.

However, the Athletics maintain their 6.5 game lead over the Texas Rangers.  They received help from the Tampa Bay Rays as the had their own extra inning victory over the Texas Rangers by the score of 4-3.

The Minnesota Twins come into town for the 1st time in 2013 to play a 4 game weekend set starting Thursday.  These are the final 4 regular season games for the Athletics and they still have a chance to clinch the division at home.

Series recap:
Monday, September 16th
LA Angels 12
Oakland Athletics 1
WP: C.J. Wilson (17-6)
LP: Jarrod Parker (11-7)

Tuesday, September 17th
LA Angels 1
Oakland Athletics 2
WP: Grant Balfour (1-3)
LP: Michael Kohn (1-3)

Wednesday, September 18th
LA Angels 5
Oakland Athletics 4
WP: Juan Gutierrez (1-4)
LP: Jesse Chavez 2-4)
SV: Ernesto Frieri (35)

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Athletics walkoff over Angels keep AL West lead at 6.5

Before the game began on Tuesday night the Athletics knew they would receive no help from the Tampa Bay Rays.  The Texas Rangers beat the Rays 7-1.  So in order for the Athletics to reduce the magic number they would have to take matters into their own hands.  This is not always an easy task against the Angels.  Athletics/Angels games are always competitive.  The two teams seem to rise to the occasion and Tuesday night was no exception.

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Athletics sweep Rangers now lead AL West by 6.5 games

On Sunday the Oakland Athletics completed a 3 game sweep of the Texas Rangers by a score of 5-1.  Tommy Milone made a spot start in place of Jarrod Parker who was scratched due to illness. Tommy, making his first start since August 27th, gave up only 1 run on 5 hits in 5 innings.  The offense backed Tommy with home runs by Josh Donaldson, Chris Young and Josh Reddick.  Today’s win puts the Athletics 6.5 games ahead of the Texas Rangers and reduces the magic number to 8 with 13 games left to play.

Josh Donaldson continues to prove that he belong with the elite 3rd basemen in the league.  In his last 10 games he is batting .444 (16 for 36) with 4 home runs and 11 RBIs.  On the season Donaldson is batting .302 with 23 home runs and a .382 OBP.  Donaldson is leading all Athletics hitters in batting average, hits, walks, RBIs and OBP.  He has played in 146 of 149 games.

The Athletics have now won 5 straight and 16 of the last 20 games.  On Monday they begin their final home stand of the regular season where they will play the LA Angels and the Minnesota Twins.

Series recap:
Friday, September 13th
Oakland Athletics 9
Texas Rangers 8
WP: Dan Straily (10-7)
LP: Derek Holland (9-9)
SV: Sean Doolittle (2)

Saturday, September 14th
Oakland Athletics 1
Texas Rangers 0
WP: Bartolo Colon (16-6)
LP: Yu Darvish (12-9)
SV: Grant Balfour (38)

Sunday, September 15th
Oakland Athletics 5
Texas Rangers 1
WP: Tommy Milone (11-9)
LP: Martin Perez (9-5)