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September 3, 2013

Texas not alone atop AL West after loss to Oakland

OAKLAND, Calif. — Coco Crisp hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the fifth that was confirmed by a video review, and the Oakland Athletics pulled into a first-place tie with Texas atop the AL West by beating the Rangers 4-2 on Monday.

Yoenis Cespedes homered leading off the second inning and Chris Young added an RBI single in Oakland’s fourth straight win. David Murphy hit a tying two-run shot in the Texas fifth for his first homer since Aug. 1. But the Rangers loaded the bases against Dan Otero with one out in the sixth and couldn’t deliver.

Crisp set a career high with his 17th homer that stayed just fair of the left-field foul pole, topping his 16 for Cleveland in 2005. He homered for the third straight game to help the A’s (79-58) move a season-best 21 games over .500.

Crisp fouled a ball off the area below his right knee in the sixth. He stayed in and struck out, and then was removed for what the team called a shin contusion.

A’s lefty reliever Brett Anderson, pitching at home for the first time since April 29, worked a 10-pitch seventh, helped by Ian Kinsler’s inning-ending double play. Ryan Cook worked out of a jam in the eighth and Grant Balfour finished for his 36th save in 38 tries as the Rangers left the tying run at second.

Oakland won for the seventh time in eight games and is hoping for another strong September like its 17-11 showing last year on the way to the West crown on the final day.

“I expect it to go all the way down to the end. Division champs over there,” Texas manager Ron Washington said. “I don’t expect them to go away, and I certainly don’t expect us to go away. Everything goes through Oakland. Doesn’t matter where positioned in the standings right now.”

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