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Texas Rangers Fall in Pivotal AL West Showdown

Texas Rangers v Oakland Athletics
Manager Ron Washington #38 of the Texas Rangers takes the ball from pitcher Yu Darvish #11 taking Darvish out of the game in the sixth inning against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum on September 4, 2013 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

YU-G-L-Y, The Rangers had no alibi in 11-4 loss to Oakland

The Texas Rangers held a one game lead in the divisional race and sent their ace pitcher, Yu Darvish, to the mound on Wednesday afternoon. All signs pointed to a strong showing by Texas, but after a Darvish meltdown and a homerun-a-palooza by Oakland, the Athletics evened the race in the AL West and sent the Rangers reeling.

Yu Darvish (12-7) never had control of the baseball in this game. His short, 5-inning afternoon started by allowing 2 walks and a 2-run homer to Brandon Moss in the bottom of the first inning. The troubles for Yu continued as he issued 6 walks (a career high) in just five innings of work. Prior to this contest, Darvish had not allowed more than 4 walks in any start for the entire season. Darvish’s final stat line was one of his worst in his MLB career – 5 earned runs on 5 hits with 6 walks and 2 HRs, while only striking out 4 batters – in only 5 innings.

When asked about Darvish’s awful performance, Texas manager Ron Washington said, “It wasn’t a good day is all.”

The Oakland batters did their part and belted 4 homers for a total of 9 runs in the game. The Athletics’ win places them in a tie with the Rangers in the race for the AL West title. Both teams have records of 80-59 with 3 remaining head-to-head battles left in the season. Those contests will take place in Texas on September 13-15.

Also of note, the Rangers allowed 11 runs snapping their record of 31 straight games of allowing 5 runs or fewer, which is tied for the 3rd longest single-season streak in MLB’s Divisional Era, which dates back to 1969.

Next up for the Rangers is a 3-game series against the LA Angels that begins Friday at Angel Stadium at Anaheim.

Complete box score (courtesy of ESPN)

[ESPN]

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