In a weekly segment, we'll take a look around the AL West — what's happened so far, and what's on tap in the coming days.
1. Texas Rangers (17-8) — The seemingly invincible Rangers have now dropped two straight series, but fear not, Rangers fans. The team is still tied with the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in Major League Baseball, and one of those series losses came to the Rays while the other was to a good Toronto Blue Jays team. Josh Hamilton didn't play in any of the games in Toronto and should return for the weekend series in Cleveland, and Adrian Beltre missed the last two games. It'll be OK. Rest easy. The Rangers are now 5-5 in their last 10 but still have a nice seven-game lead over the rival Los Angeles Angels. Next up: Friday, 6:05 p.m., at Cleveland Indians.
2. Oakland A's (13-13) — Those A's are still hanging around having won two straight games over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. The West still seems to be a two-horse race between the Rangers and Angels but the A's are making things a bit interesting as they sit 4.5 games out of first right now. But they're about to go to Tampa Bay, so if the Rangers can have a good series in Cleveland, they could expand that lead a bit. Next up: Friday, 6:10 p.m., at Tampa Bay Rays.
3. Seattle Mariners (11-15) — The Mariners are still not in last place, just barely. They have lost five straight and could make it six today when they close their series in Tampa Bay. The Mariners just don't have much of an offense, it's that simple. Next up: Today, 12:10 p.m., at Tampa Bay Rays.
4. Los Angeles Angels (10-15) — Don't look now, but the hated Angels have now won three straight games, highlighted by Wednesday night's no-hitter tossed by the dreaded and feared Jered Weaver. It was the first no-hitter of his career and might set off a wave of confidence moving forward. The bats are still struggling for the Angels, but Weaver, Dan Haren and C.J. Wilson have all pitched extremely well so far and those bats will come around. Albert Pujols still doesn't have a home run, but that will come. Next up: Today, 9:05 p.m., vs. Toronto Blue Jays.