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September 24, 2012

Week that was, week that is for Rangers

The Rangers went 3-3 on their six-game road trip at Anaheim and Seattle, and have a four-game lead in the American League West over Oakland.

Texas and Oakland open a pivotal four-game series tonight, and will face each other seven of the final 10 games.

The status of Josh Hamilton for the series isn't known yet. Manager Ron Washington said he didn't know if Hamilton (blurred vision) would be ready to go tonight or at some point this week.

Here's a look back on the week that was, and the week that is for the Rangers.

Sept. 18-20 at Anaheim: Ryan Dempster struggled in the series opener Tuesday, lasting only 3 1/3 innings as the Angels rolled to an 11-3 victory. Things got worse for the Rangers when Hamilton exited with his vision issues.  The Rangers bounced back in the final two games, though, with strong pitching performances by Derek Holland and Yu Darvish. Adrian Beltre delivered the big blow Thursday, a day after sitting out with a stomach problems.

Sept. 21-23 at Seattle: The Rangers struggled to execute with runners in scoring position, as the Mariners won two of three. Over the last 21 innings, the Rangers were 0 for 20 with RISP. Seattle opened with a 6-3 victory, and then it won a 1-0 game behind a strong pitching performance by Tarrant County right-hander Blake Beavan. That 1-0 loss spoiled a strong start by Matt Harrison. The Rangers rebounded with a 3-2 victory on Sunday, as Ryan Dempster allowed two runs over 6 2/3 innings and the team reached the 90-win mark.

Today-Sept. 27 vs. Oakland: The Rangers and A's are set to square off in a crucial four-game series. Texas is looking to secure its third division title, while Oakland is trying to hold on to a wild card spot -- and possibly put themselves in position to win the AL West. Derek Holland starts tonight followed by Yu Darvish, Martin Perez and Matt Harrison. The Rangers have gone 6-6 so far against the A's, but haven't seen them since mid-July.

Sept. 28-30 vs. Anaheim: The Rangers wrap up their final homestand of the regular-season with a three-game series against the Angels. Texas could clinch the pennant at some point during this series, as it has only a season-ending three-game trip at Oakland left. The Rangers have gone 8-8 against the Angels this season, but won two of three against them last week.

-- Drew Davison

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