There will be no sweep. Ervin Santana gave up 4 runs on 7 innings, which should put the Rangers in a good position, but C.J. Wilson and Koji Uehara had poor outings, and thus the Rangers are looking to Colby Lewis against a short-rest Jered Weaver to take the series and get the lead back up to three games.
At the end of the day on July 27, the Rangers' lead over the Angels was 2 games. A month later, with Anaheim having had the easier schedule during that stretch, the Rangers' lead is still 2 games. BP gives the Rangers an 80.4% chance of winning the division, and Cool Standings gives the Rangers a 70.7% chance.
While this is a pretty big game, the date I'd circle on the calendar is September 7. The Rangers have 10 games between now and then -- today against Anaheim, three against Tampa, three at Boston, and three at Tampa. Anaheim has 11 games in that stretch -- today at Texas, four at Seattle, three against Minnesota, and three against Seattle. Obviously, Anaheim has the easier road over that stretch, but after that, the schedule favors Texas. If Texas can be at least tied for first place on September 7, then I'll feel awfully confident in the likelihood this team will be playing in October.
Jeff Wilson's game story talks about how Ervin Santana, on short rest, pitched about as well as he did the last time the Rangers' faced him (and beat him), but C.J. Wilson pitched much worse.
Behind the paywall, Evan Grant writes about Wilson's bad night.
Anthony Andro quotes C.J. Wilson as saying he was aiming the ball down, but it was staying up.
Richard Durrett has his post-game thoughts on last night's loss at ESPN Dallas.
Gil Lebreton has a column on the Rangers' shrinking lead in the A.L. West.
Bryan Dolgin interviewed Thad Levine about waiver trades and the Jered Weaver contract, among other things.
The Rangers' website notes also look at the Beltre and Blanco rehab situation, along with touching on Ron Washington's lineup the past two nights, the decision to skip Matt Harrison's next start, and a fan falling on a stairwell last night.
Jeff Wilson has a story about major league baseball players who had the opportunity to be major college football players.