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Gentry looks forward to facing former team

Gentry looks forward to facing former team

OAKLAND -- Craig Gentry has seen the A's from the other side.

"They're guys you knew were going to battle to the end," said Gentry. "You knew the game was never over. You knew it was going to be tough.

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"Coming over here and being part of it now, it's spot on."

Oakland's new outfielder, acquired in a trade that sent Michael Choice to Texas in the offseason, has already been a part of two walk-off wins in the club's first 17 games. The A's have also come from behind when trailing after seven innings on four occasions.

Now he gets to see the Rangers, who took him in the 10th round of the 2006 Draft, from the other side. The two clubs will face each other for the first time this year in the opener of a three-game set in Oakland on Monday.

Making the trip will be Choice, who is 5-for-24 (.208) with a home run in 13 games (five starts) for Texas.

"I want to beat every team," Gentry said, "but coming from there, it kind of gives you a little more incentive."

"It is a little bit of a big deal for you," said manager Bob Melvin. "You know the guys on the other side, have played with them for a while, and it's kind of weird to be on the opposite side of it. But after that first series, then you just kind of go about your business."

Gentry spent eight years in Texas' organization, including parts of five seasons in the Majors, batting .280 with a .355 on-base percentage and 56 stolen bases in 323 games for the Rangers.

In that time he also picked up on a growing rivalry between the A's and Rangers.

"Definitely," he said. "Playing these guys over the last few years, it's a different ball game. Rarely is it a blowout in either direction. You can feel the tension, feel the heat as those games went on. You always know it's going to be a good game. I'm looking forward to it from the other side now."

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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