The Texas Rangers attempt to end the season with a three-game winning streak as they host the Oakland Athletics on Sunday in their 2017 finale. Texas fell out of contention for a wild-card spot thanks to a seven-game slide but have posted back-to-back victories over Oakland, including Saturday’s 8-4 triumph.
Rougned Odor went 3-for-4 with an RBI, while Joey Gallo homered twice and drove in three runs as the Rangers improved to 41-39 at home and remained tied with Seattle for third place in the American League West - one game behind the Los Angeles Angels for second. The multi-homer performance was the fourth of the season for Gallo - the most by a Ranger since 2005, when Mark Teixeira recorded five and Alfonso Soriano notched four. Matt Joyce and Marcus Semien went deep as Oakland lost for the fourth time in six contests following a seven-game winning streak. Joyce, who has shattered his previous career high in homers with 25, is two RBIs away from reaching 70 for the second time in the majors.
TV: 3:05 p.m. ET, NBCSN California (Oakland), FSN Southwest (Texas)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Athletics RH Daniel Mengden (2-2, 3.75 ERA) vs. Rangers LH Cole Hamels (11-5, 4.10)
Mengden looks to end the season on a positive note after having his four-start unbeaten streak snapped by Seattle on Tuesday. The 24-year-old Texan yielded four runs on five hits and three walks over six innings after producing a pair of scoreless outings, including his first career shutout on Sept. 15 at Philadelphia. Mengden made two starts against Texas in 2016 - his first season in the majors - and went 0-1 while allowing six runs (five earned) over 11 frames.
Hamels lost for the fourth time in seven starts on Tuesday, when he was tagged by Houston for six runs on six hits and four walks over a season-low three innings. It marked the third time in six September outings the 33-year-old Californian, who allowed a total of six runs in his previous three turns, has given up four or more runs. Hamels fell to 2-2 with a 4.03 ERA in six career starts against the Athletics on Aug. 26 after surrendering six runs on nine hits and three walks over 4 1/3 innings.
1. Gallo (41) is the sixth player in Rangers history to hit 40 homers in a season and first since Josh Hamilton belted 43 in 2010.
2. Oakland OF Khris Davis needs one blast to set a new career high of 43.
3. Texas LHP Alex Claudio, who has recorded 11 saves, could finish with the team’s lowest leading total since Greg Harris also notched 11 in 1985.
PREDICTION: Rangers 7, Athletics 3