The way the A's starters are currently dealing, the hot Texas bats could be tested again in this series.
The AL West-leading Rangers will try to improve their losing record against divisional foes in Thursday night's four-game series opener with the Athletics in Arlington.
In its first of three visits to Oakland in 2012, Texas (47-29) batted .189 while dropping three of four June 4-7. The Rangers totaled eight runs in those four games - six coming in their lone victory.
Since that series, the Rangers have batted .290 and averaged 5.4 runs while winning 14 of 18. Led by David Murphy 's two homers and career high-tying five RBIs, Texas defeated Detroit 13-9 on Wednesday to move a season-best 18 games above .500.
The Rangers lead the second-place Los Angeles Angels by 4 1/2 games and are 10 in front of Oakland (37-39), but the two-time defending AL champions are only 10-12 in divisional play including a 2-4 mark against the A's.
"You don't have to beat the teams in your division but it's definitely important," second baseman Ian Kinsler told the Rangers' official website.
While he realizes the importance of this four-game series, Athletics manager Bob Melvin doesn't feel it is a make-or-break trip to Arlington.
"You start looking at (the standings) a little bit later in the season," Melvin told the A's official website following Wednesday's 2-1 victory at Seattle. "I think we go in there trying to play well on that particular day and try to win it and expect to win it."
The A's have dropped eight of their last 10 games at Texas - they split two games in Arlington on May 16 and 17 - but they've won 11 of 15 overall after opening their seven-game road trip by taking two of three in Seattle.
Oakland totaled an anemic five runs on 10 hits in that series, but the club's starters limited the Mariners to three runs in 15 innings.
The Athletics' rotation has a 1.73 ERA over the last 13 games.
Probable Thursday starter Tyson Ross (2-7, 6.02 ERA) has not been particularly dominant as he's shuttled between Oakland and Triple-A Sacramento. Called up for the third time in 2012 with Bartolo Colon (oblique) going on the disabled list, Ross dropped his fourth consecutive major league decision Saturday, walking four and yielding five runs - three earned - in 5 1-3 innings of a 9-8 loss to San Francisco.
The right-hander has never started against Texas, but did go 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in three relief appearances against the Rangers in 2010.
"I'm sorry Colby went down but hopefully he'll be back quickly," said Feldman, who threw six strong innings in his last outing - a 7-3 win at San Diego on June 19. "I think I'm getting used to what my role is whatever you want to call it."
Feldman has compiled a 13.75 ERA while losing four consecutive starts against the A's. He lasted 1 2-3 innings - the shortest start of his career - in a 12-1 loss at Oakland on June 4, when he was tagged for eight runs and seven hits.
Athletics rookie Yoenis Cespedes has homered in back-to-back games and is batting .583 (7 for 12) with a homer, triple, two doubles and four RBIs against Texas.
Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre is batting .567 (17 for 30) during an eight-game hitting streak. He's hitting .441 (15 for 34) with seven homers and 13 RBIs during an eight-game home hitting streak against Oakland.
|June 23, 2012||Collin Cowgill||15-Day DL||Sprained left ankle|
|June 20, 2012||Brandon McCarthy||15-Day DL||Strained right shoulder|
|June 18, 2012||Bartolo Colon||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|June 17, 2012||Bartolo Colon||Day-to-Day||Strained right oblique|
|June 13, 2012||Yoenis Cespedes||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained left hamstring|
|June 06, 2012||Andrew Carignan||60-Day DL||Right elbow surgery - out for season|
|June 24, 2012||Colby Lewis||15-Day DL||Right forearm tendinitis|
|June 24, 2012||Matt Harrison||Day-to-Day||Left game - left hip soreness|
|June 20, 2012||Mitch Moreland||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|June 16, 2012||Josh Hamilton||Day-to-Day||Intestinal virus|
|June 14, 2012||Koji Uehara||Day-to-Day||Strained right lat muscle|
|June 11, 2012||Alexi Ogando||15-Day DL||Strained right groin|
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Leadoff man Ian Kinsler got four hits, scored three runs and stole two bases Thursday night, sending the Texas Rangers past the Oakland Athletics 7-6 for their 11th win in 13 games.
Josh Hamilton , Adrian Beltre and David Murphy each drove in two runs for Texas in a game that lasted 3 hours, 54 minutes, the Rangers' longest nine-inning game of the season.
Scott Feldman (2-6), who gave up eight earned runs in 1 2-3 innings when he last faced Oakland on June 4, won despite allowing nine hits in five innings. Joe Nathan earned his 18th save of the year.
Tyson Ross (2-8) was tagged for five runs and eight hits in four innings.
Josh Reddick hit his 18th home run for Oakland. Derek Norris and Cliff Pennington , the eighth- and ninth-place hitters in the A's lineup, connected for consecutive homers in the third.
The Rangers drew four walks and hit three singles during a four-run fifth that put them ahead 6-4.
Leonys Martin drew a leadoff walk and scored on a single by Elvis Andrus . Reliever Jim Miller walked Josh Hamilton to load the bases, then walked Adrian Beltre to make it 4-all. With two outs, David Murphy hit a two-run single.
In the sixth, Andrus walked, stole second and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Beltre for a 7-4 lead.
Oakland came back in the seventh with an RBI single by Yoenis Cespedes and a sacrifice fly by Seth Smith . Cespedes finished with three hits and drove in two runs.
Norris' homer was his second in the majors. Pennington was 2 for 28 before he homered.
NOTES: Rangers starter Derek Holland , on the 15-day disabled list with left elbow fatigue, said he felt good a day after his first rehabilitation start in Triple-A Round Rock. Holland threw 38 pitches in three innings. The Rangers plan two more rehab starts for him, manager Ron Washington said. ... Washington still has not determined whether his starting pitcher Saturday against Oakland will be rookie Justin Grimm or Martin Perez , who made his MLB debut with a two-out relief stint Wednesday against Detroit. ... The Rangers matched their season-high with four steals in the game. ... After Oakland beat Seattle 2-1 Wednesday with two solo home runs, the A's got their first three runs on solo homers.