A’s closer to wild card after 6-2 win at Texas
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Josh Reddick drove in three runs, Scott Kazmir won for the first time in seven starts and the Oakland Athletics moved oh so close to finally clinching their third consecutive playoff berth.
After snapping a three-game skid with a 6-2 victory Friday night at Texas, the A’s needed only one more win — or a loss by the Seattle Mariners — to clinch an American League wild card. Kansas City clinched earlier in the evening.
When the A’s finished their game, they gathered in the visitor’s clubhouse to watch Seattle play at home against the AL West champion Los Angeles Angels. But Seattle won 4-3, pushing Oakland to its 161st of 162 games still without a spot in the playoffs.
“We’re just going to go out there and play these last couple of games and hopefully make it in there,” Kazmir said.
Reddick led off the fourth with his 12th homer, and an inning later added a two-run single to make it 6-1.
Adam Dunn, the big designated hitter batting in the No. 2 spot for the first time since June 2008, had a two-run double in the third for Oakland (87-73). Dunn, in his 14th major league season, was acquired by the A’s on Aug. 31 and is looking to get to the playoffs for the first time.
The A’s were a season-best 28 games over .500 and had a four-game lead in the AL West on Aug. 10. But they lost 29 of their next 43 games before Friday night.
“We’ve been saying all we’ve got to do is get in and these last two months we’ve forgotten,” Reddick said. “That’s all we got to worry about now.”
Texas had its five-game winning streak snapped. Only their second loss in 14 games assured the Rangers (66-94) will finish fifth in the AL West after Houston (70-90) won at the New York Mets on Friday night.
Nick Tepesch (5-11) allowed six runs and six hits, with four walks, in 4 1-3 innings.
Kazmir (15-9) struck out five without a walk while limiting the Rangers to two runs (one earned) and four hits over seven innings.
“It’s been a long time coming it feels like,” Kazmir said. “Just feels good.”
The lefty was 0-4 with an 8.58 ERA his previous six starts since his last win Aug. 19. The 15 wins are a career high, but only four of those have come since the All-Star break.
Texas led 1-0 right away, when Leonys Martin had a leadoff single, stole second and scored on Ryan Rua’s double. But Kazmir then retired 10 in a row, and the Rangers didn’t score again until an unearned run in the fifth.
Martin’s RBI grounder drove in Rougned Odor, who reached after first baseman Brandon Moss’ error when he threw behind Kazmir, who was going to cover first base
A’s 3B Josh Donaldson landed hard on his left knee trying to make a backhanded stab of a grounder by Elvis Andrus that went foul in the third inning. After falling on his stomach and rolling over, Donaldson grabbed the back of his knee and hopped around momentarily when getting to his feet.
“I didn’t hear anything pop, which is good,” he said. “I tried to get back up and walk everything off, but it was just kind of, at the time, just pain.”
Donaldson sat back on the ground while being tended to by a trainer, and eventually got up and played the rest of the game. He was clearly not running full speed when he singled and eventually scored in the fifth inning.
“With the hamstring thing I’ve been having too, the toughest part about running is just trying to push off that leg. So with the knee on top of that, the left leg just wasn’t really working,” he said. “If I can move, I’m going to try to be out there.”
Athletics: RHP Jeff Samardzija, another midseason addition, is set to start the potential playoff-clinching game. He is 2-2 in his past six starts despite a 1.40 ERA.
Rangers: LHP Derek Holland (2-0) makes his sixth and final start after missing the first five months of the season rehabbing from microfracture surgery on his left knee.
Athletics: OF Craig Gentry, who hasn’t played since sustaining a concussion in a game Sept. 9, felt good a day after watching some pitches in the bullpen and getting on the field.
Rangers: Interim manager Tim Bogar would like to get OF Jim Adduci in a game this weekend. “Just make sure that he’s mentally OK with everything before he leaves here,” Bogar said. Adduci sustained a concussion Aug. 28 and is still dealing with a pinkie issue.