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September 17, 2012

Week that was, week that is for Rangers

The Texas Rangers have their final off day of the regular season today. There are 16 games left, and the Rangers have a three-game lead in the American League West over Oakland.

The Rangers will face the A's seven times down the stretch, but they are focused on the Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners this week. Here's a look back on last week, as well as a look ahead.

Sept. 11-13 vs. Cleveland: The Rangers took two of three from the Indians, although they let the series finale slip away. Joe Nathan blew his first save since April, giving up three runs on two homers. Nathan had converted a franchise-record 31 consecutive saves up until that point, and hasn't pitched since then as the Rangers wanted to rest him for the final two-plus weeks.

Sept. 14-16 vs. Seattle: The Rangers took two of three from the Mariners, as well. Yu Darvish pitched well in the series opener, but Scott Feldman struggled in Game 2. Feldman gave up six runs on seven hits over 2 2/3 innings, which ultimately cost him his starting job. Martin Perez will be in the No. 5 starter the rest of the season. Matt Harrison, though, continued his mastery of the Mariners on Sunday afternoon. He held them to one run over 8 2/3 innings, as the Rangers held on for a 2-1 victory.

Sept. 18-20 at Anaheim: The Angels are 7 1/2 games back of the Rangers in the AL West, but are still in the hunt to be one of two wild card teams as they sit 2 1/2 games back of Baltimore for the second wild card. The Rangers have gone 6-7 in their first 13 meetings against the Angels. Ryan Dempster made his first start in a Rangers uniform against the Angels, giving up eight runs. He will look to improve upon that when he starts Tuesday against Jered Weaver. Derek Holland starts Game 2 against former Rangers lefty C.J. Wilson. And Yu Darvish will start the series finale against Zack Greinke.

Sept. 21-23 at Seattle: The Rangers and Mariners square off for the second time in a week. Martin Perez will make his first start since being called up Sept. 1 on Friday, as he replaces Scott Feldman in the rotation. Matt Harrison and Ryan Dempster are in line to start the final two games of the road trip. Texas has gone 9-7 against Seattle so far this season.

-- Drew Davison

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