September 29, 2017 / 4:19 AM / in 19 days

Preview: Athletics at Rangers

The Oakland Athletics look to continue their recent dominance of the Texas Rangers and perhaps pass them in the American League West standings when the teams begin a season-ending four-game series in the Lone Star State on Thursday. A walk-off homer by Mark Canha lifted the Athletics to a dramatic 6-5 win over Seattle in their home finale Wednesday.

It was their 15th win in 20 contests, a stretch that includes half of a 6-0 stretch versus the Rangers, who enter this series leading last-place Oakland by three games. Texas has been trending in the opposite direction with six straight losses, the latest a 12-2 drubbing at the hands of Houston on Wednesday. The Rangers have been outscored a mind-boggling 45-8 in the last four games and need to find the win column once more to avoid a first-to-worst drop in the division standings from 2016 to 2017. Lefty Sean Manaea gets the call for Oakland in the opener opposite struggling veteran Miguel Gonzalez for Texas.

TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, NBCSN California (Oakland), FSN Southwest (Texas)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Athletics LH Sean Manaea (11-10, 4.56 ERA) vs. Rangers RH Miguel Gonzalez (8-12, 4.62)

Manaea has allowed three runs or fewer in five of his last six starts but he managed to get through only five innings in a win at Philadelphia his last time out and then missed a start due to back tightness. The 25-year-old defeated Texas with five innings of two-run ball at home last month and recorded a career-high 10 strikeouts in an April start in Arlington. He might be careful with shortstop Elvis Andrus (9-for-16, two doubles against Manaea) but will likely go right after second baseman Rougned Odor (0-for-13, five strikeouts).

Gonzalez has a 7.16 ERA in four starts since being acquired from the Chicago White Sox on Aug. 31. He had his best start in a Texas uniform on Saturday at Oakland, limiting the Athletics to a run and four hits over six innings of a tough loss. The 33-year-old is 0-2 with a 4.01 ERA in five career games (four starts) against Oakland.

WALK-OFFS

1. Each of Oakland’s six straight wins over Texas came at home, but it has lost five of six in Arlington this year.

2. Wednesday’s win gave the Athletics a 15-10 mark in September, which assured the club of snapping a streak of 10 consecutive losing months.

3. Rangers rookie LF Willie Calhoun went 2-for-3 with his first career home run Wednesday after opening his career by going 1-for-16.

PREDICTION: Athletics 6, Rangers 5

0 : 0
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