OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Texas Rangers apparently didn't like sharing first place with the Oakland A's.
Just one day after suffering a 4-2 loss to Oakland and falling into a first-place tie in the American League West, the Rangers bounced back Tuesday night for a 5-1 victory and regained sole possession.
Mitch Moreland and Alex Rios hit solo home runs for the Rangers, and left-hander Martin Perez pitched another gem, winning his sixth straight start, an ongoing franchise record for rookies.
With 24 games left to play, the Rangers (80-58) own a one-game lead over the A's (79-59).
The Rangers had owned sole possession of first place for 23 straight days before losing the opener of their three-game series to the A's on Monday afternoon.
Perez (9-3) held the A's to one run on eight hits over seven innings. He struck out five, walked none and threw 95 pitches, 60 for strikes, in his first start of the season against Oakland. Last year, he went 1-2 with a 9.90 ERA in three starts vs. the A's. Both losses came down the stretch when the A's roared back to catch then pass the Rangers on the final day of the regular season to win the West.
The Rangers pounded out 13 hits, including two apiece by Rios, Moreland, Ian Kinsler, Craig Gentry and Jurickson Profar. Moreland and Profar each had a double.
A's right-hander Bartolo Colon (14-6), who entered the game with a career mark of 19-7 against the Rangers, gave up four runs -- just one earned -- and eight hits over five innings, taking the loss. With 19 wins, he remained in a four-way tie for the most by any pitcher against the Rangers.
The Rangers took a 4-1 lead in the fifth, scoring three times off Colon. With one out, Craig Gentry hit a hard one-hopper that bounced in and out of Colon's glove for an error. Profar then ripped an RBI double off the right-field wall. The ball hit the fence and took a sharp-angled bounce toward center, past rookie right fielder Michael Choice, and the speedy Gentry scored easily.
Ian Kinsler singled sharply off Colon's glove, moving Profar to third. The deflection hit Colon in his pitching hand. After being checked by trainers, he stayed in the game. Profar scored on Adrian Beltre's ground out to third, and A.J. Pierzynski blooped an RBI single to center.
The A's grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Coco Crisp lined a leadoff double, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Jed Lowrie's sacrifice fly. Crisp left Monday's game after fouling a pitch off his right shin in the sixth inning, and A's manager Bob Melvin used him as a designated hitter instead of a center fielder Tuesday. However, Crisp looked as fast as ever motoring around the bases.
Texas pulled even in the fourth on Moreland's 22nd home run of the season, an ongoing career high. He sent Colon's 1-1 pitch high and deep over the right-field fence.
NOTES: Rangers SS Elvis Andrus (back spasms) was out of the lineup for the third straight day but said he was making good progress in his recovery. He ran and took batting practice hours before the game. ... The Rangers activated RHP Alexi Ogando (right shoulder inflammation) from the disabled list. ... With Tuesday's start, Pierzynski tied the major league record of 13 consecutive seasons with 100 or more games caught. Pierzynski matched the mark set by Bill Dickey (1929-41), Johnny Bench (1968-80) and Brad Ausmus (1995-2007). ... A's LHP Tommy Milone was recalled from Class A Stockton, while RHP Evan Scribner was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento. Oakland purchased the contract of RHP Pat Neshek from Sacramento. To make room for Neshek on the 40-man roster, LHP Hideki Okajima was designated for assignment. ... A's C Derek Norris (fractured left big toe) rejoined the team in Oakland after three rehab games with Sacramento but is not eligible to come off the disabled list until Thursday. "Everything went fine," Norris said. "No complications. It will be a tolerable annoyance for a while." ... A's 1B/OF Brandon Moss was named the American League Player of the Week. He batted .364 with four homers, 11 RBIs, four walks and eight runs last week.