Monday began a critical three-game series between the Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics, who’ve been throwing punches atop the American League West nearly all season long. After the Rangers lost 4-2 in the series opener, they found themselves without the out-right lead for the first time since August 9th.
Eric Gilmore, in a special article to ESPN Dallas, got some of the reaction from around the Rangers’ clubhouse, including manager Ron Washington and designated hitter Lance Berkman. They, along with most of the team, are fine with their position and are ready for war.
“I think if we had gotten to spring training on Feb. 11 when we got down there and you’d have said at this time of the year we’d be tied for first, I think I’d have took it,” Washington said. “We’re not going anywhere. We ain’t going no place. We’re right here in Oakland, and we’ll show up tomorrow and play.”
Lance Berkman made his first appearance since July 6th recovering from a hip injury. He was taken off the 15-day disabled list on Sunday, and went 0-4 with one strikeout on Monday.
Berkman believes that “both teams are evenly matched.”
“I don’t think either team is going to run away with this thing in the next 25 games. I think it’s going to come all the way down to the wire. But, today, they just beat us. We got to come back out here tomorrow and try to win tomorrow night.”
Two more games remain in Oakland, and the two teams will wrap up their season series in Texas September 13th-15th.