In what is a weekly segment, let's take a look around the rest of the AL West, which includes your Texas Rangers sputtering along, but also watching their division foes struggle.
1. Texas Rangers (36-34) — The Rangers' most recent series in The Bronx had disaster written all over it. They lost three of four in Minnesota and then went to visit the Yankees' launching pad after the Red Sox swept away the Yankees and probably irritated them a bit. So yeah, it wasn't all that great. The Rangers lost 12-4 twice and then lost Thursday in walk-off fashion after a great pitching performance from C.J. Wilson (eight innings, 10 strikeouts) but he was met by former Rangers' farmhand Brian Gordon and was up to the task in his first MLB appearance since 2008. What's that say about the Rangers' bats right now? Not much. That's five straight losses, seven of their last nine and the first series sweep they've fell victim to this year. Next up for the Rangers is a trip to Atlanta as Interleague play begins and then they come back to the friendly confines of Rangers Ballpark on Monday for a series against the Astros, who have the worst record in baseball.
2. Seattle Mariners (35-34) — We enter Friday with the Rangers now clinging to just a 1/2-game lead in the division over the biggest surprise of anyone in baseball, the Mariners. The Mariners don't have much in the way of offense, but their pitching, coupled with their insane pitchers' ballpark has helped the Mariners stay afloat despite their one offensive star, Ichiro, having by far his worst season since coming over from Japan. The Mariners now get ready to host Philadelphia for three games.
3. Los Angeles Angels (33-37) — I think it's official, unless there's a big deal made, that the Angels are officially toast. They just don't have the same makeup as a team as they've had in past years when they were a disciplined team at the plate, had great starting pitchers and a shutdown bullpen. The worst thing of those three so far this season has been the lineup, which is really just pretty bad. The Angels will travel to the Big Apple for three games against the Mets.
4. Oakland A's (29-40) — After firing their manager and bringing in Bob Melvin, things haven't picked up much for the lowly A's. They're the same 2-8 over their last 10 that the Rangers are and are looking for the second straight win over the Kansas City Royals. Did you hear that? Second straight! This team is just bad.