OAKLAND -- With 29 games left and a 10-game deficit behind the Rangers entering Friday's action, Oakland's path to the summit of the American League West looks nearly impossible to negotiate.
The A's will play 17 games against AL West foes, while four of their remaining seven opponents currently have records better than .500. This weekend's three-game set with the Angels will open a nine-game homestand, as the Mariners and Red Sox also come to town.
"When you play in the division, it's always close games," A's catcher Kurt Suzuki said. "Nothing changes against the Angels. They're a great team and it's always fun games."
Oakland is a combined 33-31 this season against its remaining opponents, including the AL Central-leading Twins and Rangers. The A's will host the Rangers from Sept. 23-26 for a four-game series.
"Your goal still is obviously to finish first," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "If and when that becomes impossible, then we'll go for our second [goals], but right now we're just trying to win as many games as we can."
After the current homestand, the A's will travel to Kansas City and Minnesota for three-game sets before returning for their final home games of the year, three against the White Sox and four against the Rangers. Oakland will wrap up its season with three games in Anaheim and four in Seattle.
"It's no different than any part of the season," Suzuki said. "We're just trying to come out every day and play hard and win games. We don't try to turn it up a notch just because we're playing certain teams. We just want to win. We take the same approach with every team."
Entering play Friday, the A's hold at least a .500 record against five of their remaining seven opponents. Only the Angels, who held a 7-6 season series advantage heading into play Friday, and the Twins, who have beat the A's five out of six times this year, have bested Oakland in the season series this year.