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08/07/10 3:24 PM ET

Rangers hoping for pleasant day trip vs. A's

The American League West-leading Rangers have split the first eight games of their road trip through the rest of the division, and they have two things standing in their way as they try to make it a winning swing:

Trevor Cahill's on the mound for the A's, and the sun will be out.

The A's won their ninth day game in their last 10 tries on Saturday, raising their record to 26-11 under the sun, the best in the big leagues.

Perhaps even more imposing is Cahill, the right-hander who rose to All-Star status this summer and is coming off his fist career complete game, a three-hit shutout over the Royals on Monday.

What's most impressive to the A's is how the 22-year-old is evolving quickly, becoming a better pitcher, adding a curveball to his repertoire -- all while putting together a very strong season through his first 19 starts.

"He's making adjustments," said A's catcher Kurt Suzuki. "He's keeping the ball down and out of the middle of the plate. That's been huge -- keeping the ball in the corner and keeping it down where it will be harder to lift the ball out of the park."

Cahill will be matched against Rangers right-hander Colby Lewis, who has dropped two of his last three starts -- although the Rangers scored two runs or fewer in each of those outings. That includes a 3-1 loss to the A's in which Cahill spun eight shutout innings, outdueling Lewis' seven innings and one run.

Rangers: Vlad to get a breather
Vladimir Guerrero is scheduled for a day off on Sunday, which will shift Josh Hamilton into the designated hitter role and allow Julio Borbon another start in center. Borbon had three consecutive starts in center before taking four days off. ... Bengie Molina will be back at catcher after Taylor Teagarden started -- and homered -- in Saturday's game.

A's: Bailey might throw on side Sunday
The A's hope closer Andrew Bailey takes another step toward his return Sunday with another side throwing session he and the club hope does not aggravate the ribcage strain that put him on the DL. He felt some discomfort there on Thursday in his last attempt to throw. "Andrew is feeling better [Saturday]," Geren said. "We'll see where he's at [Sunday]." ... Coco Crisp went 2-for-2 with a homer on Saturday and is 7-for-18 in five games against the Rangers this season.

Worth noting
The A's might be becoming the Rangers' AL West nemesis, having won 15 of the last 23 meetings between the clubs dating to last season. The Rangers actually lead this season's series, 6-5, heading into Sunday's finale, with three at Texas (Aug. 27-29) and four at Oakland (Sept. 23-26) remaining.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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