Sep 13, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Oakland Athletics left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) is congratulated at home plate by first baseman Nate Freiman (7) after hitting a three run home run in the first inning of the game against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

A's extend AL West lead with 9-8 victory over Rangers

Could there be trouble in the great state of Texas?

The Rangers fell at the hands of the Oakland A’s on Friday by a score of 9-8, and with the loss, the gap in the AL West standings widened to a shocking 4.5 games. Even worse for the Rangers? They fell despite having one of their horses on the mound.

Left-hander Derek Holland was shelled considerably by Oakland, allowing 6 runs on 8 hits in only 3 innings for Texas. Yoenis Cespedes blasted a 3-run homer in the 1st inning, and it wasn’t long before Josh Donaldson lengthened the Oakland lead with a home run in the 3rd and an RBI double in the 5th.

Holland was out-dueled by Oakland right-hander Dan Straily, who was effective in limited innings. Straily only managed to navigate through 5 frames, but he did so by allowing only 2 runs (on 2 hits and 4 walks), and he was blessed with a cushion on the scoreboard throughout his outing.

Texas did manage to put up 8 runs, mostly due to a barrage against the Oakland bullpen. Adrian Beltre led the way (as usual) with a 3-for-4 day, and both Elvis Andrus and Alex Rios added 2 RBI’s. However, it wasn’t enough to give Texas a win in the series opener between the two AL West contenders, and they’ve dug a bigger hole despite being at home.

There is a long way to go in the AL West race, but Oakland has delivered the first blow over the weekend.

Tags: Dan Straily Derek Holland Oakland Athletics Texas Rangers Yoenis Cespedes

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