The Rangers will try to regroup behind Vicente Padilla, who looks to remain perfect in three road starts against the Athletics on Sunday, when they play the finale of their four-game series.
Texas (73-76) has won 10 of 15 contests against the A’s (68-80), and are 6-3 in Oakland.
The Rangers, winners of six of 10 overall, outscored the Athletics 13-1 in taking the first two games of this series, but were held to seven hits in a 7-1 defeat on Saturday.
Josh Outman won his first major league start, Jack Cust hit a two-run homer and Bobby Crosby had three RBIs as the A’s benefited from a five-run fifth inning in which all the runs were scored with two outs.
“We certainly have to figure out how to get three outs in an inning once we get two,” Texas manager Ron Washington told the Rangers’ official Web site.
That prevented Texas being in position for its first sweep in Oakland since winning three games from May 2-4, 2005, and its first four-game sweep there since Sept. 23-25, 1977.
But the Rangers still have a chance to win a fifth straight series against the A’s behind Padilla (13-7, 4.79 ERA), who turned in a solid outing in his first game back after being on the disabled list.
He hadn’t pitched since Aug. 24 due to a stained left hamstring, but was activated Tuesday and held Seattle to an unearned run and six hits over 5 2-3 innings of a 7-3 road win. He also struck out five in his first victory since winning in Oakland on July 25.
“He wasn’t erratic and threw good pitches when he needed to,” Washington said of Padilla, who had gone 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA during his five-start winless stretch.
The right-hander, though, has been stellar on the road, leading the Rangers to 12 wins in 15 starts. He is 10-3 with a 4.98 ERA in that span, and two of those victories came against the Athletics.
Padilla - 5-1 with a 4.65 ERA in 11 career appearances versus the A’s - has allowed six earned runs and 12 hits over 11 2-3 innings in winning twice at McAfee Coliseum this season.
He’ll face an Oakland offense that is among the worst in the majors with a .240 batting average and scoring 3.9 runs per game.
Before Saturday’s outburst, the A’s – winners of five of eight overall – managed nine runs over their previous four games.
“We’ve been struggling, but some guys came through today and we got some runs on the board for our pitcher and our team,” outfielder Aaron Cunningham, who drove in two runs, told Oakland’s official Web site.
Dana Eveland (8-8, 4.23) takes the ball for the A’s, who have won in three of his last four outings.
The left-hander finished without a decision on Tuesday, but held Detroit to two runs and seven hits over seven innings of a 3-2 road victory.
Eveland is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in two career starts versus the Rangers, both this year. On July 27, when he gave up five runs and eight hits over 4 2-3 innings of a 6-5 home defeat.