Oakland split its key four-game series at Texas, usually a good result at Rangers Ballpark, but for the A's, not a perfect scenario.
Oakland had hoped to keep within striking distance of the Rangers in the AL West, but the A's are back to four games behind Texas with six games to play. The final three are against the Rangers.
So the A's must hope that the Los Angeles Angels play well enough against the Rangers this weekend -- while Oakland does the same at home against the Seattle Mariners -- so that the A's trail Texas by no more than three games when the final series of the season starts Monday at the Coliseum.
If that's the case, and then the A's sweep the Rangers, they'd win the season series against Texas, important in the event of a overall tie at season's end.
The A's still hold a two-game lead over the Angels and the Tampa Bay Rays in the race for the second AL wild card.
Oakland fell 9-7 to the Rangers on Thursday. Starter Travis Blackley, making his second start since moving from long relief, allowed five runs in the first inning, and the bullpen couldn't hold the damage there, allowing four more runs in the next three innings.
The A's got five homers, two by Josh Reddick, who has 31 this season.