Texas (82-68) at Oakland (72-79)

  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Wed Sep 23, 2009
Preview | Box Score | Recap

It’s the last-place Oakland Athletics, not the Texas Rangers, who are playing like a team trying to reach the postseason.

After clinching their first winning month in more than a year, the host A’s look for a second straight victory over the reeling Rangers on Wednesday night.

Kurt Suzuki(notes) and Daric Barton(notes) each drove in two runs as Oakland (72-79) evened this four-game set with a 9-1 victory Tuesday.

The A’s have won 13 of 16 and are 14-6 in September, tying them with Colorado for the best record in the majors. It’s also the first time since June 2008 that Oakland’s had a winning month.

Texas (82-68), meanwhile, has lost eight of 11 to fall seven games behind wild-card leader Boston with 12 remaining. The Rangers are 7-10 against the A’s this season.

“They are a pretty good young team and they finally put it together,” Texas manager Ron Washington said of Oakland, which he coached for 11 years before joining the Rangers in 2006. “Their pitching staff is young and those kids have gotten their feet wet and they are showing their ability that they have.”

Trevor Cahill(notes) pitched 5 2-3 solid innings and the A’s had 12 hits after managing five in a 10-3 loss in Monday’s series opener. Barton had two and is batting .393 over his last nine games.

Outfielder Rajai Davis(notes) added two hits to extend his streak to 10 games and is batting .393 with 14 RBIs in 20 games this month for Oakland.

After Cahill won his fourth straight contest, the A’s turn to fellow rookie Clay Mortensen (2-2, 6.12 ERA) as he tries to win his third straight start when he faces Texas for the first time.

The right-hander, who was acquired by Oakland in the July trade that sent Matt Holliday(notes) to St. Louis, allowed two runs and four hits in five innings of a 5-2 win over Cleveland on Thursday.

“I’m happy to get what I got out of him,” A’s manager Bob Geren said of Mortensen, who has a 2.45 ERA while winning his last two starts.

Texas counters with Tommy Hunter(notes) (8-4, 3.25), who allowed two runs, five hits and walked four while throwing 97 pitches in five innings of a 2-0 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Friday.

“Those were the toughest five innings I’ve thrown,” Hunter told the Rangers’ official Web site.

The rookie right-hander, who’s 2-1 with a 4.10 ERA in his last four outings, is 1-0 with a 3.65 ERA in two starts versus Oakland.

David Murphy(notes) had two hits and drove in the lone run Tuesday for the Rangers, who are averaging 2.2 runs in their last nine contests.

The left fielder is 6 for 11 with three RBIs in his last three games and batting .340 with 10 RBIs against the A’s this season.

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Starting Pitchers

T. Hunter CLE vs. C. Mortensen KC
9-6 Record 2-4
4.10 ERA 7.63
64 K 13
33 BB 13
1.30 WHIP 1.79


Wednesday, Sep 23