After clinching their first winning month in more than a year, the host A’s look for a second straight victory over the reeling Rangers on Wednesday night.
The A’s have won 13 of 16 and are 14-6 in September, tying them with Colorado for the best record in the majors. It’s also the first time since June 2008 that Oakland’s had a winning month.
Texas (82-68), meanwhile, has lost eight of 11 to fall seven games behind wild-card leader Boston with 12 remaining. The Rangers are 7-10 against the A’s this season.
“They are a pretty good young team and they finally put it together,” Texas manager Ron Washington said of Oakland, which he coached for 11 years before joining the Rangers in 2006. “Their pitching staff is young and those kids have gotten their feet wet and they are showing their ability that they have.”
After Cahill won his fourth straight contest, the A’s turn to fellow rookie Clay Mortensen (2-2, 6.12 ERA) as he tries to win his third straight start when he faces Texas for the first time.
“I’m happy to get what I got out of him,” A’s manager Bob Geren said of Mortensen, who has a 2.45 ERA while winning his last two starts.
“Those were the toughest five innings I’ve thrown,” Hunter told the Rangers’ official Web site.
The rookie right-hander, who’s 2-1 with a 4.10 ERA in his last four outings, is 1-0 with a 3.65 ERA in two starts versus Oakland.
The left fielder is 6 for 11 with three RBIs in his last three games and batting .340 with 10 RBIs against the A’s this season.