A’s stun Rangers
OAKLAND, Calif.—The Oakland Athletics had been down and doubted so many times during this remarkable year that a four-run deficit against the two-time reigning AL champions hardly fazed this get-after-it bunch.
They rallied—thanks to the same grit and determined, prove-you-wrong approach this group has demonstrated since Day 1.
“We knew all along we had the chance to do it,” said right-fielder Josh Reddick.
“We swept New York here, we swept Boston here,” he noted.
“Doing it to these guys was never out of the question.”
The A’s captured their first division crown in six years with another improbable rally in a season full of them, coming back once more to stun the Texas Rangers 12-5 yesterday.
The A’s needed a sweep and they delivered. 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.
“I don’t think a single one of us was worried,” said Brandon Moss, who drove in three runs.
“We weren’t supposed to be here, for one,” he remarked. “For two, they were the ones with everything to lose today.
“They had the division lead almost all season and they were trying to cling to it.
“We had nothing to lose. Everything was ours to win,” Moss added.
Josh Hamilton dropped a fly ball in centrefield for a two-run error that put the A’s (94-68) ahead 7-5 in a six-run fourth inning.
The A’s are now Motown-bound again.
While Hamilton’s Rangers (93-69) are headed to the new one-game, wild-card playoff at home against Baltimore tomorrow, the A’s get two days off before opening the division series at Detroit on Saturday in their first post-season appearance since being swept by the Tigers in the 2006 AL championship series.
It was snowing in Detroit when the A’s arrived in the Motor City that time.
“It’s going to be a tough match-up,” warned manager Bob Melvin. “They have a very powerful lineup that can certainly score some runs.
“They also have great starting pitching,” he added. We will have our work cut out for us.”
The A’s join the NL West champion San Francisco Giants as division champions.
In fact, the Bay Area already is buzzing about a possible Bay Bridge World Series like the earthquake-interrupted 1989 championship swept by Oakland.