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Rangers Look To Move Closer Towards AL West Crown Against A's

The Rangers look to reduce their magic number, currently at five, on Tuesday night as they take on the Oakland A's.

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The Rangers are inching closer to their second consecutive AL West crown, and they'll continue that quest tonight in Oakland as they open up a three-game series against the Oakland A's.

Texas currently sits comfortably five games ahead of the second-place Los Angeles Angels, with just nine games left to play in the 2011 season. The Angels, who lost last night, continue their series in Toronto against the Blue Jays.

Texas' offense will face off against former teammate Rich Harden. Harden has not pitched well in August or September this year, posting a 4.76 ERA in August spanning six starts while posting a cool 6.10 September ERA in 10.1 innings. In those 10.1 innings, Harden has given up 15 hits -- good for a .349 average against. 

On the season, Harden's numbers aren't spectacular either as he takes a 4.76 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and .254 BAA into the contest. Harden has also allowed 14 homers in just 73.2 innings of work.

The Rangers will counter Harden with Derek Holland, who is looking for his 15th win of the season. Texas has won three of Holland's last four starts, dating back to an August 26 win over the Angels. Holland will look to improve upon his 1.38 WHIP and 4.02 ERA, which he takes into Tuesday night's contest.

First pitch is scheduled for 9:05 p.m. CDT, 7:05 p.m. locally at the O.co Coliseum. 

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.