Kenny Rogers was one of the big reasons Texas was a major factor in the AL West race during the first half of the season.
The veteran left-hander will have a chance to pitch his team back into serious contention for the division crown when the surging Rangers continue a three-game series with the first-place Oakland Athletics.
Rogers, who won 13 of his first 16 decisions this year, has fronted a Texas staff that has struggled through injuries for most of the season. However, he has not been able to build on the momentum he gathered during the first 3 1/2 months of the campaign, losing five of his last eight decisions, including a 5-4 setback at Oakland on Thursday.
Rogers, who had gone 18-0 in his previous 35 appearances in Oakland, slipped to 1-3 overall in his last six starts.
“I had a 4-1 lead, and I let it get away from me,” Rogers lamented after allowing five runs and nine hits, while striking out six and walking two, over 4 2-3 innings.
Rogers will be trying to match his career high of 17 wins, established in 1995 during the first of his three tenures with the Rangers.
Ironically, Oakland starter Barry Zito had his impressive streak against the Rangers snapped earlier this year. The left-hander had been 11-0 in his career against Texas before a 2-1 home loss to the Rangers on April 7.
Zito has since rebounded to beat Texas twice, improving to 13-1 with a 2.74 ERA in 20 career starts against the Rangers.
With a 9-4 loss to Texas on Tuesday in the series opener, the A’s saw their lead over the Rangers shaved to four games.
Texas has won three straight and eight of 11.
Oakland had won two of three before Tuesday’s loss. The A’s lead second-place Anaheim by 2 1/2 games in the West. The Angels lost 7-3 to Seattle on Tuesday.