Texas (55-39) at Oakland (51-44)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Oakland, CA
Temp: 52° F
  • Game info: 4:05 pm EDT Sat Jul 24, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

No one expected the Texas Rangers to be on top of the American League West this late in the season. Nonetheless, their lead in the division continues to grow.

The Rangers look to put some more room between themselves and the second-place Oakland Athletics as they resume a three-game series at Network Associates Coliseum.

The Rangers beat the A’s 8-3 on Friday, snapping Mark Mulder’s 11-game winning streak and extending their lead in the West to 4 1/2 games. Kevin Mench hit a three-run homer for Texas, which has gone 6-2 since the All-Star break.

“Our guys grinded it, but you’ve got to feel real fortunate when you score that many runs off him,” said manager Buck Showalter, whose team pounded Mulder for seven runs. “We got a little behind, but that rally was great. You usually end up on the wrong end of something like that when you fall behind Mulder.”

Eric Byrnes homered and Mark Kotsay went 2-for-2 for the A’s. Oakland, normally a strong second-half team, has lost three straight and is 4-5 since the break.

The Rangers got a boost with the return of outfielder Brian Jordan. Jordan, who had been out since May 25 with a knee injury, went 1-for-5.

Jordan has played in just 15 games this season and owns a .111 batting average. However, he’s hoping to turn his season around now that he’s finally healthy.

“There’s no longer a feeling of hoping we win,” Jordan said. “We’re supposed to win. When you get that feeling, a lot of good things happen. … It was huge to give a lift to my teammates. Everybody here is pulling for Brian Jordan.”

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Starting Pitchers

R. Dickey Tor vs. K. Saarloos Cle
6-7 Record 2-1
5.61 ERA 4.44
57 K 10
33 BB 12
1.62 WHIP 1.60