Right now, the Rangers find themselves on the outside looking in. With just three games left to play, the team sits one game back of the Indians for the second American League Wild Card spot.
"We have to worry about winning games. It's all we have right now," Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "We've lost quite a few already, so we have to take care of business and win. Everybody knows the situation."
They got a 6-5 victory over the Angels on Thursday and will look to do the same Friday in Arlington with Alexi Ogando (7-4, 2.93 ERA) set to take the hill.
The right-hander tossed seven scoreless innings against the Royals on Sunday and has allowed one run over 18 innings in his last two starts and four relief appearances since coming off the disabled list.
"My arm feels good and strong, and my velocity is back," Ogando said. "I'm healthy. I've worked hard for this."
Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson, along with his teammates, are looking to spoil Texas' chances.
"Of course. And it's absolutely nothing personal. But it's not like we're going to go out there and lay down the next few games," Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton said. "We have to finish the season, and it's important for us to finish this last month strong -- not just for me, but for everybody."
Wilson (17-7, 3.36 ERA) broke a string of four straight wins in his last start, taking a loss to the Mariners. He allowed three runs on eight hits in 8 1/3 innings.
In his final start of the season, Wilson said he's looking to maintain the same focus he's had all year long.
"I'm just trying to win my game. That's it," Wilson said. "Try to win my game and try to go into the offseason with positive momentum, like I have the last couple of years."
Angels: Hamilton to put weight back on in offseason
After coming to Spring Training this season nearly 20 lighter than normal, Hamilton said his goal is to be 245 pounds next season.
"I'm going to try to put some weight on, but do it the right way -- by doing a lot of the things I'm doing now, but adding more calories, things like that," Hamilton said. "Because this year, I haven't been weaker than I have -- I'm just as strong in the weight room as I've ever been -- but I think there's something to say about having a little extra butt on you."
Last offseason, he started a natural-juice diet and entered camp at an estimated 227 pounds. Losing a few more pounds during the season, Hamilton said he is about 215 pounds right now.
Rangers: Washington sticking with Perez
If the Rangers play a tiebreaker game on Monday to decide one of the Wild Card spots, Martin Perez would be in the line to make the start. Rangers manager Ron Washington doesn't plan to change that if the situation occurs.
"It's another challenge and experience for him to get," Washington said. "He deserves it, just like every other starter in there deserves it. I don't think the position we're in, if we play this out and we have that opportunity, that we can move anything around. It's got to stay the way it is."
The rookie moved to 10-5 on Wednesday night, allowing three runs in seven innings against the Astros to help the Rangers remain a game behind the Indians for the final American League Wild Card spot.
• The Rangers' 82 stolen bases since the All-Star break lead the Majors. Their 141 steals on the season are the fifth most in club history.
• Angels first baseman Mark Trumbo was dropped to seventh in the batting order for Thursday night's game against the Rangers. It was his first time hitting lower than sixth since September of last season, and he went 3-for-5.
Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.