The Texas Rangers left Arlington with a chance to distance themselves from their closest contenders in the American League West, the Los Angeles Angels.
Objects in the Rangers’ rear view mirror are now further away than they first appeared.
Texas accomplished its mission of taking total control of the American League West by winning three of four games from Los Angeles this week.
The week started in Oakland last Friday where Texas scored nine runs in the series opener before getting seven runs on Saturday behind solid starts from C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis, who combined to give up two runs.
In the top of the ninth inning on Sunday, tied 6-6, David Murphy delivered a game winning single, which was followed by a Neftali Feliz save to sweep the series with Oakland.
Monday night in Los Angeles, leading the division by four games, Alexi Ogando began the four-game match with the Angels by picking up his 12th win of the season in a Rangers 8-4 win.
In similar fashion on Tuesday, Derek Holland continued to iron out his roller-coaster season by earning his 11th win of the season in a 7-3 Rangers victory.
Texas drew Ervin Santana and Jared Weaver in the final two games of the series as the Angels were trying to keep the division in reach.
Wilson joined Ogando in the 12-win club by outlasting Santana as Texas edged by the Angels 4-3 in the third game of the series.
In the bottom of the ninth on Thursday night, after Colby Lewis and Jared Weaver dueled to a 1-0 Rangers lead on a Mike Napoli home run, Texas turned to Mike Adams, who allowed a hit and then a Mark Trumbo walk-off home run as the Angels salvaged the series with a 2-1 win.
With about six weeks left to go in the season, Los Angeles will have to try to pick up on average a game a week to catch Texas. Trailing by eight games with six weeks left would just have been practically insurmountable had the Rangers won the series finale.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, 74 teams have held a six-game lead after 125 games. Only five teams were not able to hold that lead and fell into second place.
Texas took its winning ways to Chicago on Friday where Mitch Moreland crushed a three run home run and a two-run home run to vault the Rangers past the Chicago White Sox by a 7-4 score.
With a Los Angeles win on Friday, the Rangers completed the week with a six-game lead over the Angels.
The Week Ahead…
Texas will complete their three game series in Chicago against the White Sox on Sunday before coming back to Texas for a four-game series with Boston.
The series with Boston is a possible post-season preview as Boston and New York have a hold on the top two spots in the American League East and the wild card race.
The Rangers will finish their week with another series against the Angels and a chance to see the Angels move even further behind in the rearview mirror with Texas victories. The three-game series begins Friday.