A's pull out of skid against Rangers

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Oakland A's used small ball and Yoenis Cespedes' monster two-run homer to secure a big 4-2 win on Saturday over right-hander Matt Garza and the Texas Rangers.

The A's snapped a three-game losing streak and increased their lead over Texas in the American League West to 3 1/2 games. The Rangers' five-game winning streak came to an end.

The A's jumped on Garza for three runs and four hits in the first inning.

Coco Crisp led off with a well-placed bunt down the third base line, easily beating Adrian Beltre's throw for a single. Crisp moved to second on Eric Sogard's sacrifice bunt and scored on Jed Lowrie's sharp single to left.

Cespedes crushed Garza's 1-and-0 pitch deep to left for his 17th home run of the season, giving the A's a 3-0 lead.

The A's scored their fourth run off Garza in the seventh using a walk, a sacrifice bunt, a Crisp single and Sogard's safety squeeze bunt.

"We wanted to get something off a good pitcher early to create a little havoc and later to score a run," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "You want to try to get the guy out of rhythm early and try to add on late. He got into a really good rhythm. Sometimes, you want to score before a starting pitcher gets comfortable."

A's right-hander Jarrod Parker allowed two runs and six hits in six innings, winning his fifth consecutive decision and snapping a streak of six no-decisions. He struck out six, walked two and threw 107 pitches, one shy of his season high.

Parker gave up a leadoff double to Leonys Parker to start the game but retired the next three hitters in order, striking out Elvin Andrus and Beltre.

"After the leadoff double, I just wanted to minimize the damage," Parker said. "To put up a zero was huge."

Garza pitched a complete game but took the loss. He allowed four runs and eight hits in eight innings. He struck out five and walked one as his six-game winning streak came to an end.

Garza beat the A's earlier in the season with the Chicago Cubs, allowing one run and four hits in eight innings. This time, the A's had a different game plan. Crisp set the tone with his leadoff drag bunt.

"It worked," Sogard said. "Small ball is definitely something we can use when we need it."

Garza gave credit to Crisp for laying down "a great bunt" in the first.

"Coco's a great bunter. You just tip your cap," Garza said. "Then Sogard bunted him over. Back-to-back bunts in the first inning. That from there kind of let me know they were going to play small ball all day.

"Cespedes hits that rocket shot. It hung up there and kind of carried out. You just kind of go from there. Three-nothing out of the gates, and you're mindset is just go out there, keep attacking and keep your guys in the game and go as long as you can."

When Sogard laid down a safety squeeze in the seventh, an obviously frustrated Garza had words with him.

"It was the heat of the moment," Sogard said. "It's no secret that Garza can sometimes have trouble throwing to first. We scored a run, and he's not going to be happy about that. I couldn't quite understand what he was saying."

Garza said, "I asked him where's a good place to eat in Oakland. That's about it."

In the first inning, Cespedes hit a slider from Garza that was low but not low enough.

"I thought it was down, but that's his zone down there," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "You throw him something down there, you know he'll swing at some things that hit the dirt. But you throw him something down there that don't hit the dirt, that's what he does pretty good. He's strong. He went down there and got it."

Andrus extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a single in the seventh. Andrus' streak is tied for the longest of his career and is the longest currently in the major leagues. It's also the longest by a Ranger this season.

After Parker left, A's left-hander Sean Doolittle pitched a scoreless seventh, right-hander Ryan Cook threw a scoreless eighth and closer Grant Balfour pitched a scoreless ninth for his 29th save.

The Rangers cut Oakland's lead to 3-1 in the third. Parker issued back-to-back walks to Leonys Martin and Andrus with one out. Beltre blooped an RBI single to right field with two out.

In the fifth, Ian Kinsler launched his 10th home run of the season, slicing the A's lead to 3-2. Kinsler hit Parker's 1-and-0 pitch high and deep down the left field line, barely inside the foul pole.

NOTES: A's LHP Tommy Milone was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento. The move came one day after he allowed a season-high nine hits and six runs in 3 2/3 innings of an an 8-3 loss to Texas. ... The A's recalled RHP Evan Scribner from Triple-A Sacramento to take Milone's spot on the roster. ... Sogard extended his hitting streak to 11 games.