Oakland Athletics (87-73) at Texas Rangers (66-94)
Saturday, September 27 - 8:05 PM EST
Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas
The Oakland Athletics attempts to clinch a wild-card spot when they visit the Texas Rangers on Saturday. Oakland will claim a wild card with either one victory in the final two games against the Rangers, or one loss by the Seattle Mariners versus the Los Angeles Angels. The Athletics won 6-2 on Friday to break Texas’ five-game winning streak and hand the Rangers only their second loss in 14 contests.
Oakland third baseman Josh Donaldson avoided a serious injury after landing hard on his left knee while making a backhanded grab of a foul ball during Friday’s game. “His knee is a little sore,” Athletics manager Bob Melvin told reporters. “We can deal with that. He was able to play in the game. We weren't going to push it.” Texas is 13-7 since interim manager Tim Bogar took over for Ron Washington.
TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, CSN California (Oakland), FSN Southwest (Texas)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Athletics RH Jeff Samardzija (7-12, 2.88 ERA) vs. Rangers LH Derek Holland (2-0, 1.31)
Samardzija has allowed just one unearned run in 22 innings over his last three starts and only has one victory to show for it. He defeated the Angels in his last turn when he gave up the unearned run and five hits over seven innings. Samardzija received a no-decision against Texas on Sept. 17 when he struck out 10 and gave up four hits over eight shutout innings.
Holland gave up three runs (two earned) and seven hits in seven innings to beat Houston in his last turn as he continues a strong month. He recently returned from knee surgery and has allowed one run or less in four of his five starts. He received a no-decision versus Oakland on Sept. 17 after yielding one run and four hits over 6 1/3 innings – and is 5-4 with a 3.26 ERA in 17 career appearances (13 starts) against the Athletics.
1. Athletics RF Josh Reddick went deep on Friday for his first homer since Sept. 8.
2. Texas CF Leonys Martin is just 4-for-24 over the last six games.
3. Oakland INF Alberto Callaspo is batting .317 in 41 career at-bats against Holland, while SS Jed Lowrie is just 3-for-19.
PREDICTION: Athletics 4, Rangers 2