ARLINGTON, Texas -- Fans who expected a dominating performance on the hill Tuesday night at Rangers Ballpark got just that.
It just wasn't the guy they expected.
The Texas Rangers were stymied at the plate for second consecutive game, as Oakland A's rookie Dan Straily outdueled Yu Darvish for a 1-0 win over the American League West leaders.
"It hasn't sunk in yet," Straily said of his victory over Darvish. "It's just another day at the office."
Not quite. The 24-year-old right-hander admitted he felt the buildup to the game, noting that the MLB Network called it a "Yu Darvish" start with little mention of him.
"I do feel happy not to lose here tonight," Straily said.
Oakland (25-22) has won five in a row and looks for the series sweep Wednesday afternoon. The Rangers (29-17) had their division lead sliced to 4 1/2 games, and they hope to avoid their first three-game losing streak this season in the finale of the three-game set.
Straily (2-2) went seven innings and struck out five, and the A's made a third-inning home run by Yoenis Cespedes stand up. Straily allowed only two singles in his longest outing of the season. Texas had three hits, none for extra bases.
"We just couldn't string anything together," Rangers manager Ron Washington said
A's manager Bob Melvin said, "It's been a hot lineup. They've been swinging the bats really well coming into this series."
Darvish had been the Rangers' bounce-back pitcher this season. Five of his starts had come following a Texas loss, and the second-year ace was 5-0 in those games.
He didn't add to that total Tuesday. Darvish (7-2) wasn't bad, but he also wasn't dominant.
Darvish's final line -- six innings, one run, five hits, three walks and five strikeouts -- wasn't the issue. He lacked sharpness through the 101-pitch outing, which will lead to speculation that he was overworked in his previous start.
Darvish racked up a season-high 130 pitches May 16 against Detroit. He came out for the eighth inning in that game despite the Rangers holding a six-run lead in their eventual 10-4 win.
Darvish, Washington and even team president Nolan Ryan defended the decision to leave the 26-year-old right-hander in against the Tigers. Oakland didn't batter Darvish, but the A's got to the Texas bullpen earlier than most.
"He worked hard," Washington said of Darvish. "That lineup over there worked him pretty good. He threw (101) pitches, pitching 16, 17 pitches per inning. I thought he took us as far as he needed to take us."
Darvish also came into the game with the most run support in baseball at 9.05 runs per game. So what happened Tuesday to all those runs?
"I didn't ask my teammates anything," Darvish said with a smile. "I think I've been really pampered with all the run support I've been getting. There'll be games like this."
Straily held the upper hand in the supposed pitching mismatch. The righty with an ERA north of 7.00 followed up Bartolo Colon's strong showing in Oakland's 9-2 victory Monday.
Texas had only one hit -- that coming in the third -- after five innings and trailed 1-0.
The A's piled up three hits through the first two innings, but Darvish also recorded a pair of strikeouts to thwart any potential scoring threat. The fourth hit from Oakland broke the shutout, as Cespedes went deep to straightaway center in third.
Catcher John Jaso, who batted leadoff, had two hits for Oakland.
NOTES: Oakland is 17-7 (.708) against the AL West and just 8-15 (.348) against everyone else. The A's have the best intra-division record in baseball. ... The Rangers came into Tuesday tied for the best record after 45 games (29-16) in franchise history. The 1998 club had the same mark. ... Texas and the New York Yankees are the only teams yet to lose more than two games in row this season. ... The Rangers have held sole possession of first place for the past 30 days. Oakland has had sole possession of second for 28 of the past 30 days. ... Oakland's win Monday marked the first time Texas lost a series opener at home his season. ... For the second straight night, a moment of silence was observed before the game for the tornado victims in Oklahoma.