ANAHEIM -- There is a business-like quality to the Rangers as they head down the stretch, having been here before with full awareness of all the hurdles, physical and emotional, that must be cleared to reach the open spaces of October.
A 6-2 victory on Wednesday night with Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre both unavailable was the product of quality pitching by starter Derek Holland and relievers Mike Adams and Joe Nathan, and timely hitting, including a late two-run homer by catcher Geovany Soto.
With the A's losing to the Tigers, the Rangers pushed their American League West lead to four games over Oakland and 7 1/2 over the Angels with 14 games left on the Texas schedule.
"We play 162 games," manager Ron Washington said. "We know that. We don't play 155. When you lose a ballgame, it hits you in the gut. But tomorrow you can make a difference."
Washington talked about his team's "attitude, commitment to each other" in explaining how it is able to dismiss the absence of the two main cogs in the offense and continue to roll along without missing a beat. It's not known when Hamilton's vision will clear sufficiently and Beltre's abdominal pain will go away, but the Rangers don't seem to worry too much about that -- or anything.
"We're not going to get ahead of ourselves," Michael Young said. "We've been down this road a lot. We don't see anything past tomorrow night."
In the series finale, the Rangers, behind Yu Darvish, will be gunning for their ninth series win in their past 10. They're also looking to even the season series with the Angels, who own an 8-7 edge.
Today's key games to watch (all times ET)
Rangers (Darvish, 15-9) at Angels (Greinke, 14-5), 10:05 p.m. Preview >
A's (Milone, 13-10) at Tigers (Sanchez, 8-12), 1:05 p.m. Preview >
If the postseason started today ...
This is how the teams would match up: Postseason Bracket »
To calculate a team's magic number, take the number of games it has remaining and add one. Then subtract the difference in the number of losses between that team and its closest pursuer.
A tiebreaker game will be played to determine a division winner, even if the tied clubs are assured of participating in the postseason. If a division championship tiebreaker is necessary, the head-to-head record between the clubs will determine home-field advantage. If the head-to-head record is tied, then the division record will be the next tiebreaker.
If two clubs are tied for the two Wild Card berths, home-field advantage will be determined by the head-to-head record between the clubs. If the head-to-head record is tied, then the division record will be the next tiebreaker.
2012 postseason schedule
Wild Card playoff games: Oct. 5
Division Series: Oct. 6-12
AL Championship Series: Oct. 13-21
NL Championship Series: Oct. 14-22
World Series: Oct. 24-Nov. 1
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.