Oakland Athletics (87-74) at Texas Rangers (67-94)
Sunday, September 28 - 3:05 PM EST
Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas
The Texas Rangers have been playing solid baseball over the second half of September and look to spoil Oakland’s clinching efforts again when they host the Athletics in Sunday’s season finale. Texas won for the 13th time in 15 games when it defeated Oakland on Saturday and that victory prevented the Athletics from clinching an American League wild-card spot. Oakland leads Seattle by one game and would like to avoid a play-in game Monday.
The Rangers have fared well against Oakland and clinched the season series (10-8) with Saturday’s victory. The Athletics have been scuffling and have lost eight of 12 games to keep the Mariners in the race. “These things are tough,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin told reporters. “It takes a while to digest these things and you move on to whatever the next scenario is.”
TV: 3:05 p.m. ET, CSN California (Oakland), FSN Southwest (Texas)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Athletics RH Sonny Gray (13-10, 3.21 ERA) vs. Rangers RH Nick Martinez (5-11, 4.61)
Gray has lost three straight decisions and is 1-7 over his last 11 starts. He lost to the Rangers on Sept. 18 when he gave up five runs (four earned) and eight hits in five innings. Gray struck out 12 against the Los Angeles Angels in his last start and suffered the loss despite giving up two runs (one earned) and three hits in seven innings.
Martinez has won back-to-back starts while finishing the season strong. He pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings of five-hit ball while beating Houston on Tuesday and he has allowed two or fewer earned runs in each of his last five starts. Martinez beat Oakland on Sept. 18 when he allowed two runs and three hits in 5 2/3 innings.
1. Oakland 3B Josh Donaldson (knee) played one night after injuring himself and had three hits, including his 29th homer.
2. Texas OF Jake Smolinski is 10-for-23 with two homers in six games against the Athletics.
3. Oakland RF Josh Reddick has three hits Saturday and is 14-for-29 over his last nine games.
PREDICTION: Athletics 4, Rangers 3