Friday, September 28, 2012
Updated: September 29, 9:29 PM ET
Rangers-Angels postponed by rain; play 2 Sunday
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington kept his eye on the weather instead of watching the Oakland A's play on television.
He had no control in either situation.
The Rangers' magic number remained at three to win their third consecutive AL West title after their game Saturday with the wild-card hopeful Los Angeles Angels was rained out, and the second-place A's won.
"Just concerned about Texas Rangers and the Angels," Washington said.
Officials waited as long as possible trying to play Saturday, but steady rain persisted throughout the day. The game was called about 7 p.m. local time, about four hours after its scheduled start, when it was raining as hard as it had all day and the forecast was for rain to continue until after midnight.
The game will be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader Sunday, which will be the first ever at Rangers Ballpark.
"I don't like them," Washington said. "You've got to play it so you go play it. That's it. It's something that has to be done so you do it."
The Rangers (92-65) assure themselves a playoff spot by winning one of the two games Sunday, before three games at Oakland to end the regular season. They are the last home games of the regular season for Texas, and both are sold out.
Yu Darvish (16-9), set to start Sunday after missing his last game with neck stiffness, will start the opener for Texas. Saturday's scheduled starter Derek Holland (11-6) will get the second game.
"I want to get (Darvish) out there as soon as we can," Washington said.
Los Angeles will go with Zack Greinke (6-2), the scheduled starter Sunday, in the first game. Ervin Santana (9-12), who was supposed to pitch Saturday, will get the second game.
The Angels find themselves in a worst-case scenario with a doubleheader. Their pitching staff could be pushed to the limit, and they could still face an extra game later this week just to get into the postseason.
During the nearly rain delay, Angels manager Mike Scioscia and his staff, and surely some of the players, kept an eye on Oakland's home.
With its 7-4 victory in 10 innings Saturday, Oakland moved within 2½ games of the division lead, and 2½ games ahead of the Angels (87-70) for the second wild card spot.
"Obviously every time they win, it puts them closer to where they want to be, and the help we're looking for hopefully will come at some point," Scioscia said. "We've got five games. From some perspective it seems like it's a blink of an eye. Another perspective, it seems like it's a lifetime. ... We have to put up wins, that's what we need to do. Hopefully we'll get the opportunity get our toe in the door."
If the Angels wind up in a tie for the second wild card, they would be forced into a tiebreaker game Thursday just for the right to play the following day in the one-game wild card to determine who would advance to the AL division series.
There were overcast skies and some drizzle during Friday night's game, but no issues or delays as Jered Weaver won his 20th game.
Weaver's next scheduled start is the Angels' regular-season finale Wednesday at Seattle. Greinke or Santana would be options to pitch on short rest Thursday, if necessary.
The Angels have won 10 of their last 14 games, and their 17-8 record is the AL's best in September. They have won 12 of their last 16 road games to stay in the playoff chase.
Texas has lost three of its last four games.