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 (36-22) — The Rangers are in what could easily end up being their roughest stretch of the season and what is setting up to be a brutal month of June, and they're treading water, just like they need to do. They've fought off numerous injuries and are fighting off the surging Oakland A's and keep winning series with the chance to win another Thursday night at Fenway. Next up: Today, 6:10 p.m., at Boston Red Sox.
2. Oakland A's (36-25) — The A's 1 1/2-game deficit is all in the loss column as they've been surging, winning eight of their last 10 games and likely won't fall off any this weekend with a trip to Comiskey to take on the struggling White Sox. Josh Donaldson is swinging the stick again and other people, including Josh Reddick are getting healthy and back from the DL. In case there was any doubt in your mind, this is the team the Rangers need to worry about, not those guys from Anaheim. Next up: Today, 7:10 p.m., at Chicago White Sox.
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3. Los Angeles Angels (26-34) — After the Angels looked to have gotten on to something good, they were swept in a four-game set, at home, by the lowly Houston Astros and have won just three of their last 10 games. Ouch. Now, they're coming off a loss to the Chicago Cubs and head to Fenway to take on a really good Red Sox team. Josh Hamilton is still struggling, as is Albert Pujols, though his power seems to be coming back, and with Jered Weaver's return from the DL they now have their pitching ace. That 11-game deficit is probably too much to overcome though, even though it is just June 6. Next up: Friday, 6:10 p.m., at Boston Red Sox.
4. Seattle Mariners (26-34) — The Mariners are an even .500 over their last 10 and are coming off one of the odder losses you'll see on Wednesday night when they lost an extra-inning game that was scoreless after nine before they gave up five in the top of the 14th only to score five to tie it on a grand slam in the bottom of the 14th. They went on to lose 7-5 to the White Sox. Doesn't get much nuttier than that. Next up: Today, 9:10 p.m., vs. New York Yankees.
5. Houston Astros (22-38) — Thanks to their aforementioned four-game sweep of the Angels over the weekend, the Astros are tied with the A's for being the hottest team going in the division right now, winning eight of their last 10 games but are still 15 games back in the division and 12 1/2 games back in the too-early-to-pay-attention-to AL Wild Card race. Catcher Jason Castro is starting to lay claim to the starting job with a big bat, including a homer in Wednesday's 11-7 win over Baltimore. Next up: Today, 1:10 p.m., vs. Baltimore Orioles.