Baseball doesn't get any better than this. The A's not only won the series but they rejoin the Rangers atop the American League West Division again, after Oakland's 11-4 victory over Texas.
The A's offense opened up in the sixth to dominate Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish. An unusual performance for a pitcher who leads the Majors in strikeouts, but walked six batters and was all over the place on the mound.
Darvish scattered six runs over five hits. He seemed frustrated after arguing with catcher A.J. Pierzynski and pitching coach Mike Maddux. The play that ended his outing was a two-run homer to Daric Barton after he issued a free pass to Alberto Callaspo.
"It wasn't a good day for him, that's all," said Texas manager Ron Washington. "He didn't have his command. That can't happen if you take the ball enough. There is no reason to push the panic button. Yu is human, he is like everybody else. He can have a bad day when it just doesn't work, today was that day.
"I thought they had finished the conversations and I had turned around and stepped off the mound," Darvish said in his defense while he was pitching. "Obviously, I was frustrated, but I felt the conversations were over."
Oakland's offense definitely thwarted Yu out of the game. They scored a total of six runs that included two home runs by Brandon Moss and Josh Donaldson. Moss homered off a fly ball to center field while Donaldson went deep to left field scoring in three runs for a 9-2 lead.
"When we face a good pitcher, what are we going to do? We're going to be shut down or we're going to be able to score runs? That's been a question mark for us the last couple of years," said Brandon. "I think over the last couple of weeks, with the pitching staffs we've been facing, we've been putting together some nice offensive runs and it's doing a lot for our confidence because we know we can beat those guys."
Coco Crisp also got in on the action and hit his 18th home run of the season in the eighth. His two-run shot was the third home run for the A's. Crisp has hit four home runs in his last five games and has scored at least one run in each of his last seven games.
"It's going to be fun," Donaldson said on the Rangers upcoming series on Sept 13th. "This is where everyone wants to be right now, in this position to control your own destiny and hopefully win a division title. I feel like everyone's feeling good about themselves, and we're playing good baseball right now."
Texas bullpen collapsed and the defense made some costly errors. Leadoff hitter for the Rangers, Leonys Martin strugged against the sun in center field. Stephen Vogt doubled due to Martin fighting the sunlight and could not see the ball coming toward him. Josh also doubled off Leonys who again misjudged the fly ball hit to him.
The Rangers scored three runs, Jim Adduci scored off Martin's double and Craig Gentry's RBI single in the third cut Oakland's lead 3-2. Texas failed to score again until Geovany Soto blasted a solo home to center field in the ninth. The loss dropped them back into a tie for first place in their division.
"You can look at this series any way you want, but we lost two of the three and now we're even," said Ian Kinsler. "We have 23 games left and we have to win one more than them. There is not much to make of this series other than they beat us two out of three."