Lost weekend in Oakland puts Texas in a fix

Rangers 5 1/2 games back of Twins for second AL Wild Card

Lost weekend in Oakland puts Texas in a fix

OAKLAND -- The Rangers' hopes of reaching postseason for a third straight year all but vanished with their offense during their three-day weekend in the Bay Area. Barring a miracle, the Rangers will likely spend the final week of the season trying to salvage a winning record and avoid finishing in last place.

That's the best/worst case scenario left for the Rangers after an 8-1 loss to the A's on Sunday afternoon left them 5 1/2 games behind the Twins in the race for the second American League Wild Card spot.

"We are making it tougher on ourselves," designated hitter Adrian Beltre said. "This was a bad weekend for us. We expected to win this series and it didn't turn out that way. It's not set in stone yet but we have to go back home and win as many games as we can."

The Rangers have three games left against the Astros and four games against the A's at home to end the season. The four-game set against Oakland could determine who escapes last place in the American League West this season.

AL Wild Card standings

"It has been tough the last three games," catcher Robinson Chirinos said. "We came in here with a really good chance for the last Wild Card spot. We still have a chance but it depends on how Minnesota plays in their last games. We have to go home and fight. The fight is not over ... we are going to keep fighting and giving everything we can in the field.

The Rangers are 5-1 against the A's at Globe Life Park, a complete reversal from what happened in Oakland

The Rangers hit just .185 during their nine games in Oakland. That's the third lowest batting average for one season ever by an opposing team with at least nine games played at the Coliseum since it opened for baseball in 1968. The 19 runs were the seventh-fewest by an opponent over nine games against the Athletics at the Coliseum.

The Coliseum was not the only place the Rangers struggled. Unless there are a lot of no-hitters thrown next week, the Rangers are going to finish last in the American League with a .224 road batting average and a .293 on-base percentage. Those are also going to be the second-lowest marks in club history for road hitting next to .217 and .283 in 1972.

"I can't put my finger on it," said Rangers bench coach Steve Buechele. "At home, you are comfortable, with your family, in your own bed. Things are different on the road but it would be hard to pick out one thing why we struggle on the road. I do know when you struggle to score runs, pitchers feel the need to be perfect and a hitter's competitive edge comes out trying to be the one to get the big hit and you end up doing too much."

The Rangers can relax and be comfortable at home. It could be the edge they need to avoid last place.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.