The Oakland Athletics inched closer in the standings to the AL West division-leading Texas Rangers by jumping out to an early lead and never looking back. The A's earned the 9-3 win on Wednesday night, and Texas will look to salvage a series split on Thursday afternoon.
Rangers starter Martin Perez only lasted ⅔ of the first inning prior to getting pulled, but not before he allowed five earned runs and six hits in a lead Oakland wouldn't relinquish on the night.
With the victory, the Athletics -- currently owners of one of the two AL Wild Card spots -- crept to three games behind the Rangers in the AL West entering Thursday and grabbed the 8-7 overall lead in the teams' head-to-head season series.
In need of a quality start, Texas will send Matt Harrison (17-10, 3.17 ERA) to the hill to face Oakland's Travis Blackley (5-3, 3.75 ERA). In his last appearance, Harrison took a tough loss after going eight innings and allowing only one earned run on Sept. 22 at the Seattle Mariners.
First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. CT at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, and can be seen on Fox Sports Southwest.