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Rangers Swept by A's, Denied West Division Title

Updated: Wednesday, October 3 2012, 10:47 PM CDT

Same chaotic, champagne dance-party scene in the clubhouse just two days later. New T-shirt: AL West champions.

The
Oakland Athletics won the division title with another improbable rally
in a season full of them, coming back from four runs down and a 13-game
division deficit to stun the two-time defending league champion Texas
Rangers 12-5 on Wednesday.

"We knew this is a
beast of a team we would have to beat, and to be able to beat them three
games in a row and win the division on top of it, really it's a
magical-type thing," manager Bob Melvin said.

Josh
Hamilton dropped a fly ball in center field for a two-run error that
put the A's (94-68) ahead 7-5 in a six-run fourth inning. The A's only
added to Texas' troubles the rest of the way.

While
Hamilton's Rangers (93-69) are headed to the new one-game, wild-card
playoff at home against Baltimore on Friday, the A's get two days off
off before opening the division series at Detroit on Saturday in their
first postseason appearance since 2006.

"You
can have all the experience as you want but when you run into a team
that's hot, experience has nothing to do with it," Texas manager Ron
Washington said.

The A's needed a sweep and
they delivered to win their first division crown in six years and 15th
in all. They overcame a five-game deficit in the final nine days and
took sole possession of the West's top spot for the first time this
year.

"It shows how important Game 162 is,"
Oakland's Jonny Gomes said. "I don't think it took 162 to games to check
the character of this ballclub."

Grant
Balfour retired Michael Young on a fly to center for the final out, then
raised his arms in the air as the A's streamed out of the dugout and
began bouncing up and down in the infield.

"2012
AL WEST CHAMPIONS" flashed on the scoreboard two days after the A's
clinched a playoff spot Monday and held a wild dance party in the
clubhouse.

"I'm glad there's not one tomorrow or Friday," owner Lew Wolff said. "I can relax and go home. I'm running out of underwear."

Players
high-fived fans while taking a victory lap through the rundown
Coliseum, where the outfield still has a light patch of grass from
football in the venue shared by the NFL's Raiders.

Soon,
the celebratory champagne and beer made its way to the field - and
players sprayed it into the stands. The A's returned to the field almost
an hour later to greet fans still gathered along the top of the dugout.

Oakland
pulled off another remarkable performance in a season defined by
thrilling walkoffs, rallies and whipped-cream pie celebrations by a team
that was never supposed to be here.

A club
that trailed Texas by 13 games on June 30. A club with a $59.5 million
payroll, lowest in baseball. General manager Billy Beane found ways to
get a blue-collar franchise back to the playoffs for the first time
since being swept by Detroit in the 2006 AL championship series.

Coco
Crisp hit a tying two-run double in the fourth against Derek Holland
(12-7) and Brandon Moss drove in three runs, including a two-run single
in the four-run eighth.

Rookie winning pitcher
Evan Scribner (2-0) left the mound in the sixth to a standing ovation
from the sellout crowd of 30,067. He allowed two hits and struck out two
in three scoreless innings after replacing struggling starter A.J.
Griffin.

Ryan Cook, pitching for a fifth
consecutive game, gave up a double to Nelson Cruz before retiring the
next three Texas hitters with strikeouts of David Murphy and Mike
Napoli. Catcher Derek Norris pumped his right arm as the Coliseum fans
jumped to their feet.

Norris then homered
leading off the bottom of the eighth for his second RBI. It was his
seventh homer and Oakland's majors-leading 112th since the All-Star
break.

"Ever since Day 1 I've been here, it's
been, the A's can't compete with the payroll, can't compete with this
team or that team," Norris said. "We're better off if we're down. It
just gives us the extra energy."

The A's join
the NL West champion San Francisco Giants as division champions. The Bay
Area is already buzzing about a possible Bay Bridge World Series like
the 1989 championship swept by Oakland, one interrupted by an
earthquake.

Hamilton's miscue while charging forward might haunt the to-be free agent if his Rangers don't get past their wild-card game.

"I
just missed it, man," Hamilton said. "You guys have a hard time
believing we can forget about it and move ahead. But that's what we get
paid to do."

Murphy's two-run single highlighted a five-run third inning that put Texas in prime position.

In
the fourth, Moss drew a leadoff walk and Josh Reddick followed with an
RBI double. Josh Donaldson singled and Seth Smith's base hit made it 5-3
and chased Ryan Dempster with none out and runners on first and second.

Washington
turned to the lefty Holland, a starter who was tagged for four runs in
the first inning of the second game of Sunday's doubleheader with the
Angels before working into the seventh.

He retired the first two batters before Crisp's double down the right-field line.

The
only other teams to come back from at least 13 games down to win the
division were the 1914 Boston Braves, the 1951 New York Giants, the `78
Yankees and the `95 Seattle Mariners.

Oakland
accomplished this with an ever-changing roster managed by Melvin in his
first full season as skipper. They lost third baseman Scott Sizemore to a
knee injury on the first full day of spring training workouts, never
promoted slugger Manny Ramirez from the minors before parting ways, and
dealt with devastating injuries all year long.

Opening
day starter Brandon McCarthy took a line drive to the head Sept. 5 that
required surgery and ended his season, Brett Anderson missed most of
the year coming off Tommy John surgery, and Dallas Braden never pitched
because of shoulder problems. Starter Bartolo Colon received a 50-game
suspension in August for a positive testosterone test.

Third
baseman Brandon Inge needed shoulder surgery last month and prized
Cuban rookie Yoenis Cespedes missed time with a pair of injuries in May
and June.

And that's just the beginning for a
team that traded away catcher Kurt Suzuki to the Nationals during the
year after swapping three top pitchers during the offseason - Trevor
Cahill to Arizona, NL Cy Young Award favorite and 21-game winner Gio
Gonzalez to Washington and All-Star closer Andrew Bailey to Boston.

"There
hasn't been a lot of luck involved," said Beane, who received a
celebratory pie in the face. "The one thing about baseball, when you
play 161 games, you don't get lucky this late in the season. There have
been a lot of adjustments on the fly."

NOTES:
The A's, whose 14 walkoff victories lead baseball, won their seventh
game this year after trailing by four or more runs. ... The A's won the
season series 11-8, just the second time in seven seasons they've done
so. ... The sellout crowd included 1,000 standing-room only tickets. ...
Holland pitched in relief for the second time this year.

Rangers Swept by A's, Denied West Division Title


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Scores & Schedules

April 16, 2014 07:43 GMT

AMERICAN LEAGUE Tuesday's Games

Chicago Cubs at New York, ppd., rain

Tampa Bay at Baltimore, ppd., rain

Cleveland at Detroit, ppd., inclement weather

Texas 5, Seattle 0

Chicago White Sox 2, Boston 1

Kansas City 4, Houston 2

Toronto 9, Minnesota 3

Oakland 10, L.A. Angels 9, 11 innings

Wednesday's Games

Tampa Bay (Odorizzi 1-1) at Baltimore (Mi.Gonzalez 0-1), 12:35 p.m.

Cleveland (McAllister 1-0) at Detroit (A.Sanchez 0-0), 7:08 p.m.

Seattle (F.Hernandez 3-0) at Texas (Darvish 1-0), 8:05 p.m.

Boston (Buchholz 0-1) at Chicago White Sox (Joh.Danks 1-0), 8:10 p.m.

Kansas City (Guthrie 2-0) at Houston (Keuchel 1-1), 8:10 p.m.

Toronto (Dickey 1-2) at Minnesota (Pelfrey 0-2), 8:10 p.m.

Oakland (Milone 0-1) at L.A. Angels (Skaggs 1-0), 10:05 p.m.

NATIONAL LEAGUE Tuesday's Games

Pittsburgh 8, Cincinnati 7, comp. of susp. game

Atlanta at Philadelphia, ppd., rain

Chicago Cubs at New York, ppd., rain

Cincinnati 7, Pittsburgh 5

Miami 11, Washington 2

St. Louis 6, Milwaukee 1

N.Y. Mets 9, Arizona 0

Colorado 3, San Diego 2

San Francisco Giants 3, L.A. Dodgers 2, 12 innings

Wednesday's Games

Pittsburgh (Liriano 0-2) at Cincinnati (Cueto 0-2), 12:35 p.m.

St. Louis (J.Kelly 1-0) at Milwaukee (W.Peralta 1-0), 1:10 p.m.

N.Y. Mets (Gee 0-0) at Arizona (McCarthy 0-2), 3:40 p.m.

Atlanta (Teheran 1-1) at Philadelphia (Cl.Lee 2-1), 7:05 p.m.

Washington (Roark 1-0) at Miami (Fernandez 2-1), 7:10 p.m.

Colorado (J.De La Rosa 0-2) at San Diego (Cashner 1-1), 10:10 p.m.

L.A. Dodgers (Maholm 0-1) at San Francisco (Vogelsong 0-0), 10:15 p.m.

INTERLEAGUE

Chicago Cubs (Hammel 2-0) at N.Y. Yankees (Tanaka 1-0), 1:05 p.m., 1st game

Chicago Cubs (T.Wood 0-1) at N.Y. Yankees (Pineda 1-1), 7:05 p.m., 2nd game 6,

NBA

Tuesday's Games

New York 109, Brooklyn 98

L.A. Clippers 117, Denver 105

Wednesday's Games

Indiana at Orlando, 7 p.m.

Chicago at Charlotte, 7 p.m.

Utah at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Detroit at Oklahoma City, 8 p.m.

Atlanta at Milwaukee, 8 p.m.

Dallas at Memphis, 8 p.m.

L.A. Lakers at San Antonio, 8 p.m.

Houston at New Orleans, 8 p.m.

Washington at Boston, 8 p.m.

Brooklyn at Cleveland, 8 p.m.

Philadelphia at Miami, 8 p.m.

Toronto at New York, 8 p.m.

L.A. Clippers at Portland, 10:30 p.m.

Phoenix at Sacramento, 10:30 p.m.

Golden State at Denver, 10:30 p.m.

NHL PLAYOFFS

FIRST ROUND (Best-of-7) Wednesday, April 16

Montreal at Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.

Columbus at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.

Dallas at Anaheim, 10 p.m.

Longhorn Football Scoreboard

Longhorn Football News

 

KEYE-TV Sports Team


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