Oakland A's close AL West gap to 4 games

The Oakland A's beat the Cleveland Indians, 12-7, on Thursday afternoon. The victory puts the A's a remarkable 16 games above .500 and just four games behind the Texas Rangers in the AL West.

To put that in perspective, that's the closest the division has been since Aug. 1, when the Los Angeles Angels were four games behind after the Rangers' dramatic, come-from-behind, 11-10 win. That's still the signature victory of the season.

Oakland swept a four-game series against the Indians and has six straight wins dating back to taking the final two games of a three-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays. The A's have one of the two AL Wild Card spots as well.

But the schedule now stiffens for the A's. They return home to face the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angeles. They have road series next month at Seattle, the Angels, Detroit and Texas.

The Rangers and A's have seven head-to-head games, including four in Arlington Sept. 24-27 and three in Oakland Oct. 1-3 to finish the season.