Athletics-Rangers Preview


The Oakland Athletics can take comfort in knowing they'll leave Texas still leading the AL West.

They can pad their lead by extending the struggles of the second-place Rangers on Wednesday night.

Brandon Moss hit his 13th homer while Jarrod Parker and two relievers held Texas (39-32) to three hits to help Oakland even the four-game set with a 6-2 win Tuesday. The A's (43-30) have dropped three of five since winning 21 of 26, but own a three-game lead over a Rangers club that has lost seven of eight and is 5-12 this month.

Oakland scored five runs in six innings of Yu Darvish, who is winless in six straight starts and 1-4 with a 4.22 ERA in five against the A's.

"We may do better against him than other teams, maybe, because we see him more often being in our division and we always seem to get him,'' Moss said.

Aside from Monday's 8-7 win over Oakland, Texas has totaled 10 runs in its seven losses over the last eight. Its starting pitchers have gone without a win this month, breaking the team record of 16 straight set in 1975.

"We just went through this spell not scoring runs," manager Ron Washington said. "It's tough for starters to hang out there.''

Texas second basemen Ian Kinsler had a hit Tuesday, but also needed stitches near his jaw after a collision at home plate in third inning. Four games back from missing almost a month with an oblique strain, Kinsler was screened for a concussion and remained in the game.

He is 3 for 7 in the series, and 2 for 6 against scheduled Oakland starter Tommy Milone (6-6, 3.61 ERA).

Milone is 1-1 with a 2.18 ERA in his last three starts. He gave up two runs in 6 2-3 innings of a 3-2 loss to Seattle on Friday.

The left-hander, who has allowed two or fewer runs in eight of his 14 starts, posted a 2.50 ERA despite going 0-2 in three road starts against the Rangers last season.

Tied for the team lead with 13 homers, Moss is batting .357 (10 for 28) with four homers and seven RBIs in his last six games. He recorded three home runs for his only hits in his previous 36 at bats.

Moss is 2 for 3 with a double and homer against scheduled Texas starter Justin Grimm (5-5, 5.59), who is 0-2 with an 11.40 ERA in his last three starts. The right-hander allowed seven runs and 10 hits in 7 2-3 innings of an 8-0 loss to Toronto on Friday.

In those three starts, Grimm has endured a six-run inning and two four-run frames.

"I got to learn a little damage control," he told the Rangers' official website. "It seems to be the difference in my last couple outings. It hasn't been terrible; it's just seen one big inning that gets to me."

Grimm allowed five runs and homers to Moss and Yoenis Cespedes in five innings of a 5-1 loss at Oakland on May 13.