|7:05 PM PT8:05 PM MT9:05 PM CT10:05 PM ET22:05 ET2:05 GMT10:05 7:05 PM MST9:05 PM EST9:35 PM VEN6:05 UAE (+1)9:05 PM CT, August 20, 2018
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, California Attendance: 9,341
Rangers get chance to play spoiler vs. A's
Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics
- Texas won three of four against the Angels, improving to 14-8 since July 27. Since that date, the Rangers are slashing .283/.357/.490 with 147 runs scored, all marks which lead MLB over that span.
- Oakland swept a four-game series with the Rangers in July and owns a 16-7 record against Texas since August 25, 2017. The Athletics have homered in 28 of 32 games against this division foe since the start of 2017, tied for the third most by a team against a single opponent.
- Mike Fiers will be making his third start for the Athletics since being acquired from Detroit. He has a 2.38 ERA average over 11.1 innings in Oakland. In two starts against the Rangers this season, both happened while pitching for the Tigers, he has a 2.38 ERA over 11.1 innings.
- Khris Davis homered twice against the Astros on Sunday, moving his season total to 36, just two behind the MLB leader (J.D. Martinez). His two-homer game was his sixth multi-homer game of this season and his 15th since moving to the Bay in 2016, tied with G. Stanton for most over that time.
- Joey Gallo is batting .323 in the month of August, putting him on pace to post a .300+ batting average for the first time in his career. His lifetime OPS in the month of August (1.149) is the highest in baseball's live-ball era among players with 100 plate appearances.
- The Athletics are 40-14 (.741) since June 16, tied with the Red Sox for the best record in that time frame. The last time the A's won 40 or more games in a 54-game stretch was in 2005. During this purple patch, Oakland has averaged 1.46 home runs per game and .94 home runs allowed per game.
- Gregorius hurt, season might be over
- Snell wins 21st, lowers ERA to 1.90
- Astros' Morton exits with hurt shoulder
- Twins put A's celebration plans on hold
- Cubs lower NL Central magic number to 5
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Texas Rangers get to play the role of the spoiler but are not quite sure who they will be spoiling with when they open a three-game series Monday night against the Oakland Athletics.
The Rangers' pitching rotation got thrown for a bit of a loop during the weekend when veteran Bartolo Colon experienced back spasms and had to be scratched from his Sunday start.
The injury is not considered serious, and Rangers manager Jeff Banister indicated he would need to check in with Colon (7-10, 5.19 ERA) after the club's flight to Oakland on Sunday night to see if and when the right-hander might be available to pitch against one of his former teams.
Colon pitched two seasons for the A's, leading them into the 2013 playoffs.
Oakland hasn't been back in the postseason since 2014, but the A's currently occupy the second wild-card position in the American League after falling out of a first-place tie with Houston following a 9-4 loss to the Astros on Sunday.
Oakland entered the series two behind the Astros, then drew even with wins Friday and Saturday before taking a step backward on Sunday despite two homers from Khris Davis.
"We just took two out of three from a really good team," Oakland catcher Jonathan Lucroy told reporters. "We're not going to win every game the rest of the year. It would be nice, but it's very unlikely, especially when you're playing teams in your division that are really good. We just gotta stay the course, keep winning series, and that's the best we can do right now. For me, I think that's a very good goal for us to have."
The A's (74-50) will begin the week 3 1/2 games ahead of Seattle (71-54) in the battle for the second wild-card spot. They also are four games behind the New York Yankees (78-46) for the first wild-card spot.
Right-hander Mike Fiers (8-6, 3.38) will seek to improve his record to 3-0 since joining the A's in a trade from the Detroit Tigers when he pitches the series opener against the Rangers.
Fiers has had mixed results against Texas. He has beaten the Rangers twice this season for the Detroit Tigers, allowing only three runs in 11 1/3 innings, but that improved his career record against them to just 2-3 with a 7.17 ERA in eight games, including seven starts.
The 33-year-old played a key role in the A's catching the Astros, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers and Mariners in his last two starts. Oakland won both games 3-2.
One guy who has enjoyed seeing Fiers is Rangers slugger Joey Gallo, who has homered twice in nine career at-bats against him.
Rougned Odor was the Rangers' big hitter when they defeated the Los Angeles Angels 4-2 on Sunday, taking three of four in the series. Odor drove in all four Rangers runs, three with a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning.
Odor is batting .338 this month and his season average is up to .279.
"It's another one of those situations that will add to what Rougie has been able to do this year to right the ship and move himself forward," Banister told reporters.
The win capped a 4-2 homestand for Texas, which catches a break during this week's trip to California. The Rangers won't have to change hotels, being that they follow their three games at Oakland with three at nearby San Francisco.
The Rangers won five of the first seven meetings from the A's this season but then got steamrolled by the surging club in a four-game series at Texas in July, getting outscored 41-24 in the sweep.
Davis bombed four home runs and totaled 11 RBIs in the four wins.
He also swung a hot bat during the weekend against the Astros, contributing two doubles and two RBIs to Saturday's 7-1 win, before hitting homers in each of his first two at-bats against Justin Verlander on Sunday.
Davis (36) and Gallo (32) both rank among the top five in the AL in home runs entering the series.
Updated August 19, 2018