Week ahead: Oakland, Anaheim, off days

July, 16, 2012
7/16/12
11:00
AM CT


It's a strange scheduling quirk this week that has the Texas Rangers with two off days so soon after the All-Star break. But they'll try to take advantage of it and keep the pressure on their two nearest pursuers in the AL West in Oakland and Los Angeles. A look at the week ahead:

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Rangers team president Nolan Ryan dishes on Yu Darvish's poor outing, Matt Harrison's complete game shutout and much more.

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* The Rangers are off today in San Francisco before a two-game series with the Oakland A's. The second game of that series is Wednesday afternoon at 2:37 p.m. CT, and we'll have a live in-game chat on location somewhere for that game. Keep an eye out here on the blog for details.

* Texas faces an Oakland team that is 46-43 and going into today's games sits only a half game back in the AL wild-card standings. The Angels and Baltimore are tied for the wild-card lead, but six teams behind them are within 1 1/2 games.

* After the two-game set, the Rangers get another off day Thursday before facing the Angels for three games -- Friday night and Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

* Matt Harrison continues to impress. He won his 12th game of the season Sunday with a complete-game shutout of the Mariners and has a 2.87 ERA. He'll be on the mound during the Angels series.

* The Rangers' offense continues to struggle overall. Since July 1, the Rangers haven't scored more than four runs in a game and are batting just .229 as a team in 10 games (4-6 record overall). They've managed just 2.4 runs per game and have more errors (six) than homers (five).

* Los Angeles lost two of three to the New York Yankees and is now five games behind the Rangers in the AL West. Mark Trumbo was 3-for-5 with a home run in the finale on Sunday, the Angels' only win in the series.

* After this week, the Rangers return home for a 10-game homestand against the Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox and Angels. They'll also be in Arlington as the trade deadline comes and goes.
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Adrian Beltre
BA HR RBI R
.325 14 53 52
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Beltre 14
RBIA. Beltre 53
RA. Beltre 52
OPSA. Beltre .889
WY. Darvish 9
ERAY. Darvish 2.88
SOY. Darvish 154