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A’s Spring to AL West Lead With 10-Game Win Streak

Every team in the AL West started the season dismally; at one point, four of five teams were under .500.  The Texas Rangers, propelled by their superior lineup were able to sprint to the top of the standings, leading the division by 1-3 games most of the second half of May and the beginning of June.  All of the other teams in the division were playing awful baseball; the Angels couldn't score runs, the A's were beat-up with injuries, the Mariners weren't pitching or hitting, and this, not extraordinary play, was what allowed the Rangers to win most of their ballgames in May and obtain the division lead. 

June was a different month for the American League West, with the Oakland Athletics finally living up to lofty expectations that the MLB world had for them.  The A's, after today's game, are 14-2 in the month of June, and are on a 10-game win streak, the best in baseball this season.  Oakland has been able to turn its season around largely because the lineup is now producing enough runs to reduce the issues posed by the bullpen full of unknowns setting-up Huston Street, who has been somewhat shaky, blowing 4 saves.  Led by Nick Swisher, Eric Chavez, Frank Thomas (now injured), and the suddenly hot Bobby Crosby, the A's are now scoring enough runs to win ballgames.  They haven't exactly been blowing teams away — only 3 of their 10 straight wins have been by more than 3 runs — but the A's have taken 2-of-3 from Cleveland, swept the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, and swept the Mariners and Dodgers at home to propel themselves to the top of the AL West.  Also contributing to the streak were the A's starting pitchers; Barry Zito, Dan Haren, Joe Blanton, Kirk Saarloos, and even Esteban Loaiza (despite his DUI arrest) who have been spectacular every single game these past two weeks.

The A's have been able to bring their offense and their defense together and if they can continue this streak, the Angels, Mariners, and Rangers will have a tough time contending with Oakland.

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