Craig Gentry #23 and Adrian Beltre #29 of the Texas Rangers celebrate Beltre scoring against the Minnesota Twins during the eighth inning of their game on June 12, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Twins defeated the Rangers 6-1.
In what is a weekly segment, let's take a look around the rest of the AL West, which includes your Texas Rangers clinging to that division lead over the rival Los Angeles Angels.
1. Texas Rangers (77-60) — The Rangers have just seemed to win at the right times this year and have managed to keep the Angels at a somewhat comfortable distance in the last week. After taking two of three games last weekend from the Angels, they've split two with the Rays heading into tonight's series finale. They lost on Wednesday, but so did the Angels. Adrian Beltre is scheduled to make his debut off the DL on Thursday, which should help bolster the offense that's gone without its cleanup hitter for more than a month. The Rangers magic number is now 23, so there's that. Hooray.
2. Los Angeles Angels (73-63) — Mike Scioscia's decision over the weekend to push up Ervin Santana and Jered Weaver on three days' rest was a controversial one with more than a month left in the season. Santana did fine. Weaver did not. Many former pitchers say the start that kills pitchers in that situation isn't necessarily the intial one, but the one after that. Dan Haren was outpitched by King Felix on Wednesday as the Angels fell to the Mariners, 2-1. It'll be interesting to see what transpires when Santana and Weaver take the hill again.
3. Oakland A's (60-76) — The A's entered Thursday's day game against Cleveland having lost five straight. Things aren't going well and any combination of 10 A's losses and Rangers wins officially eliminates the A's. You're welcome for the news alert.
4. Seattle Mariners (58-77) — One of the worst offenses in MLB history still has a pretty awesome starting rotation with King Felix and rookie phenom Michael Pineda. They conclude a home set against the Angels tonight and the Rangers will certainly be scoreboard watching.