Texas (69-76) at Oakland (71-76)

Cloudy Currently: Oakland, CA
Temp: 60° F
  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Thu Sep 13, 2007
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Texas Rangers and the Oakland Athletics won’t be taking part in the playoffs this season. Each team, however, could salvage a .500 record with a strong finish.

Both clubs hope to take a step closer to the break-even mark on Thursday night when they open a four-game series at McAfee Coliseum.

Oakland (71-76) is looking to finish above .500 for the ninth consecutive season, which would be the third longest streak in baseball. Only the New York Yankees (15) and Boston (10) have longer runs with winning records.

The Athletics failed to complete a three-game sweep Wednesday at Seattle, falling 6-5 when the Mariners scored once in the eighth and again in the ninth.

To reach .500, the A’s will need better production from their starters, who are 2-9 with a 6.33 ERA over the last 18 games with both wins coming from Joe Blanton. Ace Dan Haren was far from sharp Wednesday, allowing four runs and a season high-tying 12 hits in 6 2-3 innings.

After winning 13 of 15 games to make a .500 season a possibility, the Rangers (69-76) were cooled off with back-to-back losses at Detroit, scoring one run in each game.

Finishing .500 would be a huge accomplishment for Texas, which was 16 games under as late as Aug. 24.

The Rangers have won nine of 15 this season against the A’s, scoring 24 runs during a three-game win streak.

Michael Young went 2-for-3 in Wednesday’s 5-1 loss, extending his hitting streak to a career-best 12 games, matching Mark Teixeira for the longest this year by a Ranger.

Young, batting .404 (19-for-47) during the streak, stands a good chance to make it 13 in a row against Chad Gaudin. Young is hitting .533 (8-for-15) with a home run off the right-hander.

Gaudin (10-11, 4.47 ERA) looks to rebound from back-to-back disappointing outings for Oakland. He was reached for six runs and a season high-tying 10 hits over 3 2-3 innings - matching his shortest start of the season - Saturday in a 7-3 loss at Texas. It was the eighth loss in 10 decisions for Gaudin, who is 0-3 with a 6.12 ERA in four home starts since beating Seattle on July 5.

He is 1-3 with a 6.26 ERA in five starts this season against the Rangers, losing the last three.

Kevin Millwood (9-11, 5.31) gets the call on three days’ rest for Texas following his shortest start of the season. The veteran right-hander recorded only four outs against the A’s on Sunday before departing after a second rain delay. Millwood was reached for six runs and eight hits over five innings against Kansas City in his previous start, leaving without a decision in the Rangers’ 12-9 victory.

Millwood is 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA in three starts this season against the A’s, losing his only appearance at Oakland 6-0 on July 18.

Mark Ellis is batting .391 (9-for-23) against the right-hander.

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Starting Pitchers

K. Millwood Sea vs. C. Gaudin LAD
10-14 Record 11-13
5.16 ERA 4.42
123 K 154
67 BB 100
1.62 WHIP 1.53


Thursday, Sep 13