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Athletics vs. Rangers: Texas clinches playoff berth

Matt Harrison got the win for Texas as the Rangers clinched a post-season berth with a 9-7 win over the A's.

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Unable to pick up pitching, Texas falls 9-3 to A's

After splitting the first two games of their four-game series against the Oakland Athletics, the Texas Rangers fell to Jarrod Parker and the A's 9-3 on Wednesday night.

21-year-old Martin Perez started the game for Texas, but the young southpaw was unable to escape the first inning. Perez allowed five runs on six hits before being pulled by manager Ron Washington.

Opposing Perez was the rookie Parker. Like Perez, Parker found himself in trouble early in the game, but the 23-year-old was able to escape before the Rangers were able to hit themselves back into the game. The righty allowed three runs on five hits in six innings of work while whiffing eight Rangers on the night.

With the Rangers down early, manager Ron Washington took advantage of his expanded bullpen by saving his top relievers and instead using several young relievers to patch up the remainder of the game.

Texas will now be looking to split their four-game series against Oakland on Thursday, which would also help the team extend its division lead to four games.

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Darvish progressing, could pitch before Sunday

Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish's neck soreness regressed quite a bit between Tuesday and Wednesday, meaning the hurler could return before his next scheduled start, according to Evan Grant of DallasNews.com.

Darvish was originally scheduled to make starts Tuesday and Sunday of this week, but he was scratched from the former with a stiff neck. While he appears to be on track to make his Sunday start, Rangers manager Ron Washington hasn't ruled out sending Darvish to the mound before that:

"It's just a consideration. We have to see how he is. Right now, he's on schedule for Sunday."

Having Darvish pitch before Sunday would allow the entire Rangers rotation to have an extra day of rest down the stretch, which would be key for a team that is trying to lock up a postseason berth. Texas's magic number to clinch the AL West sits at five entering Wednesday night's game, while its magic number to earn a postseason berth of any kind is three.

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Rangers denied postseason berth in extras by A's

The Texas Rangers will have to wait another night to clinch a playoff berth as they were edged out by the Oakland Athletics in extra innings on Tuesday night, 3-2.

Athletics catcher George Kottaras, facing Texas reliever Mark Lowe, homered to lead off the top of the 10th inning and give Oakland the deciding advantage. Reliever Grant Balfour pitched a perfect bottom of the frame to earn his 21st save of the season.

Josh Hamilton knocked a two-RBI single to right field in the first inning to give Texas the early lead off of Athletics starter Tommy Milone, who ended up lasting six innings while only allowing the two runs, which were unearned due to a throwing error by right fielder Brandon Moss on the play, which left Hamilton on third base.

Oakland would respond against the Rangers' spot-starter Scott Feldman -- who filled in for Yu Darvish who was scratched on Tuesday due to a neck issue -- in the second as first baseman Daric Barton drove in Moss on a double to right field. Chris Carter, the Athletics' designated hitter, tied the contest at 2 in the fourth inning when he launched his 16th home run of the season.

Feldman would pitch through four innings, giving up four hits and only the two earned runs.

The teams will meet for the third game of their four-game series Wednesday night at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

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What Is Happening In Oakland?

On the morning of a big series with the Rangers closest rivals in the AL West, we take a look at how the Oakland A's have gotten to this point.

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