There's two things that are certain next time the Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics step on the field together on Aug. 2 in Oakland.
One, Ian Kinsler, if he's healthy, will most likely face the wrath of some A's pitcher. Two, the same goes for Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski.
Kinsler has always been an emotional leader for the Rangers and has provided tons of swagger in his time in Arlington. Pierzynski is new to the Rangers, but he's been busy being a thorn in teams' sides for years, known as one of the most hated players in the game by opposing players.
Both were out in full force on Thursday.
First of all, Kinsler's two-run RBI single up the middle in the bottom of the eighth inning reclaimed the lead for the Rangers, and his bat-flip and Jet Terry impersonation down the first-base line was a hit on Twitter, positively for Rangers fans and the complete opposite for A's fans.
Then, there's Pierzynski's antics. Oh, Pierzynski. He was awfully fired up as he was crossing home plate after a pinch-hit single led him to score on Kinsler's eighth-inning hit. But that was only the tip of the iceberg for Pierzynski.
The thrilling conclusion that will go down as one of the most exciting Rangers endings in, well, probably club history, was capped off by a sweet swipe tag of Oakland third baseman Josh Donaldson after a flubbed play in center from Craig Gentry and a nice recovery to get a nice throw to the cut-off man. Then, Elvis Andrus fired a laser to Pierzynski just in time, and in a perfect place, to tag out Donaldson and send the Rangers' dugout into hysterics.
It certainly didn't make Donaldson happy, as the A's third baseman later tweeted that he wouldn't be sliding next time he was coming home against Pierzynski. You can guess what that means.
One thing's for certain, the Rangers-A's rivalry has easily become the biggest one in the Rangers' minds now, surpassing the one with the Angels from recent years as the Angels and Josh Hamilton are nearly 10 games out of the division race.
It's going to be a fun August and September.