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Athletics vs. Rangers: Texas can clinch playoffs Tuesday night

Following a 5-4 win over the Oakland A's on Monday night, the Rangers are just one more win away from clinching a playoff spot and are increasingly close to putting the rest of the AL West too far in the rear view mirror.

With a five-game divisional lead with nine games left to play, the potentially playoff clinching game for the Rangers will feature their biggest offseason investment, Yu Darvish, attempting to seal the spot.

Darvish has recovered from a rough end to his summer with a very strong, 3-0 September. In 30 innings pitched in the month, he has allowed 11 hits and six earned runs, winning three of his four starts. His 1.80 ERA for the month is even more impressive when compared to his 5.74 July and 5.29 August.

His opposition on Tuesday night, A's pitcher Tommy Milone, hasn't had nearly as strong of a month. In 20 innings pitched in September, Milone has allowed 33 hits and 11 earned runs for a 4.95 ERA.

Clinging to a slim Wild Card lead and the dimming hope of an AL West pennant, the A's will need a resurgent performance from Milone if they hope to close the gap between them and the Rangers.

The first pitch at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington is scheduled to be thrown at 7:05 p.m. CT and will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest as well as CSN-California.

For more on the Texas Rangers, be sure to check out Lone Star Ball. For more on the Athletics, head over to Athletics Nation.

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