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October 03, 2012

Rangers not panicking ahead of winner-take-all game

The Rangers lost to Oakland 3-1 on Tuesday night and are now tied for the American League West lead. They have to win Wednesday afternoon to win the division. A loss would leave them as one of the two wild-card teams and force them into a one-game playoff Friday, site to be determined, to extend their season to the AL Division Series.

Manager Ron Washington said he spoke to his players after the game and said it's all come down to game No. 162.
"No one said it was going to be easy," Washington said. "We set out to play 162 games. Tomorrow is 162, winner take all.
"We still have a chance. We haven't lost anything. We're not going to put our heads down. We're going to stay as proud as we have been."

The Rangers know their season won't end with a loss Wednesday, but they also don't want to mess with the wild-card game. They're planning to lean on their big-game experiences from the past two postseasons to get them past the A's and to a third straight division title.

"We've played in these pressure situations the last couple years," said Matt Harrison, the losing pitcher Tuesday. "We have that on our side. We know what it takes to that win one game, so I think we'll be alright."

Said veteran Michael Young: "We played in games before where it's all about the win or you go home. That's not the case tomorrow, but we've played in those games before and they're a lot of fun. We're looking forward to it. We all know what's at stake."

Said outfielder Josh Hamilton, who drove in the Rangers' only run: "They're playing good, and their pitching is doing a good job. It comes down to 162. It's a long schedule, and it's amazing it can come down to one game. Either way it turns out, both teams are in the playoffs. We're excited about that, but ultimately you want a division championship. We'll come in tomorrow and get after it."
-- Jeff Wilson

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