OAKLAND, Calif. — Oakland scored two in the first inning and two more in the fifth against Martin Perez, and the Rangers were shut down late by the A’s bullpen in a 4-3 loss that kept them from clinching the American League West.
The Rangers’ division lead fell to one game, their magic number held at two, and they fell into a tie with New York for the league’s best record.
The Rangers need one win in their final two games to win the West, and must finish with a better record than the Yankees to claim the top seed.
The A’s, though, locked up a playoff spot and eliminated Anaheim and Tampa Bay in the process. The five AL teams have been determined, but that’s about the only thing that’s clear in a muddled postseason picture.
The hope was that the Rangers would clinch in the opener at O.co Coliseum. But Perez struggled to throw strikes in the first inning, when he balked in the A’s second run, but retired 10 of 11 as the Rangers pulled even on an Elvis Andrus single in the third and a solo homer by Young in the fourth.
Perez, though, yielded back-to-back doubles to start the fifth and was pulled in favor of Scott Feldman.
Coco Crisp scored the fourth Oakland run as he slid home just ahead of Josh Hamilton’s throw from center field on a sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Brandon Moss.
Mike Napoli homered to start the seventh, but three A's relievers pitched a scoreless inning apiece to make a winner of Jarrod Parker.
-- Jeff Wilson