The Texas Rangers held their ground Tuesday night. And, yes, they were all aware of what was happening in Cleveland when it appeared that the Rangers were going to have an opportunity to pull even for the second wild card.
But the Indians came through with a walk-off victory over the White Sox. That guaranteed Cleveland would maintain a one-game lead over Texas.
The Rangers still hung on for a 3-2 victory over the Astros, and were pleased to stay within striking distance with the possibility of the standings changing on any given night the next five games.
"This is fun baseball," closer Joe Nathan said. "You get to watch some other games and enjoy the excitement being a fan and, at the same time, be playing. It's exciting. Obviously we would've hoped it would have gone differently but what a game to watch."
As far as if he feels the Rangers have to win out to play more than 162 games this season, Nathan said: "We’ve got to win tomorrow. If we start thinking about five games from now, we’re dead. Focus on task at hand tomorrow."
Nathan went on to say that "if we can sneak into this, we can be dangerous."
Here are a few other postgame notes:
* Adrian Beltre scored the go-ahead run with a solo shot in the sixth, his first homer since Aug. 28 at Seattle. Said Beltre: "Felt good. Felt really good. I haven’t had that feeling for a long time."
His teammates greeted him in the dugout by acting like they were asleep. Beltre found it humorous, saying: "It's been so long that I understand it."
* Yu Darvish took a no-decision after allowing two runs on four hits over 5 1/3 innings. It's the first time this season that Darvish has had consecutive starts in which he didn't go at least six innings (lasted only five innings in his start last Thursday in Tampa Bay).
* Alex Rios stole his 40th base of the season, and is 14-for-14 in steal attempts with the Rangers. He has been successful on all 21 of his stolen base attempts in the second half.
* The Rangers snapped a skid of six consecutive losses in one-run games.
* The Rangers improved to 16-2 against the Astros this season, setting a franchise record for most wins against an opponent in a single season.
-- Drew Davison