ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers had entered the month of September with a two-game lead on the Oakland Athletics in the American League West.
However, after Oakland completed a three-game sweep of the Rangers with a 5-1 win on Sunday afternoon, Texas saw its record in the month fall to 2-11 and the lead in the division turn into a 6 1/2-game deficit.
The Athletics (87-61) clinched the head-to-head advantage against its division rival, taking the season series 10-9. Oakland earned its fifth straight win overall to finish a six-game road trip 5-1. That moved Oakland's magic number to clinch a playoff berth to seven games.
Texas, heading in the opposite direction, went winless in all six games of its homestand, something that had never happened in a homestand of six games or more in the history of the team.
The Rangers (81-67) can attribute their struggles to not cashing in on opportunities to push runs across the plate. Texas was 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 10 on base in Sunday's affair, a day after going 0-for-4 in that situation in a 1-0 loss on Saturday.
Tommy Milone (11-9) picked up the late nod to start the contest after Oakland's scheduled starter Jarrod Parker was scratched due to an undisclosed illness.
Milone pitched through five innings, giving up an earned run, while striking out five.
Dan Otero, Ryan Cook and Sean Doolittle combined to pitch three innings of scoreless ball in relief to push the A's to the ninth. Jesse Chavez worked the ninth, retiring the side.
The Athletics gave Milone a 2-0 advantage in the first inning after Jed Lowrie brought home Coco Crisp, despite grounding into a double play.
Josh Donaldson then extended his career-best hitting streak to 11 games with a homer in the next at-bat.
The Rangers put up the lone blemish on Milone's scorecard to counter the pair of runs by the A's in the first. A.J. Pierzynski provided the Rangers' third hit of the inning to score Elvis Andrus with two outs.
However, Oakland increased its lead to 3-1 on a two-out homer from Chris Young in the third, belting a ball over the left-center field wall.
Martin Perez (9-5) would allow just three base runners through the course of the next three innings, lasting until a walk in the seventh.
Perez pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits, three earned runs and two walks while striking out two. The loss was his second in a row after winning six straight previously.
Josh Reddick padded Oakland's lead in the ninth with a two-run homer.
Notes: Texas lost its seventh straight at home, matching the longest home losing streak at Rangers Ballpark. The Rangers lost their fifth consecutive series, a feat they had not done since 1998. ... Oakland leads the Majors with 55 home runs since Aug. 9.