Beltre and Moreland attempt to continue their impressive production at the plate in the conclusion of this three-game series Wednesday.
Beltre is hitting .385 with four homers and 13 RBIs in 12 games, raising his season average 57 points to .271. He's been even better over the past six contests, going 12 for 27 with three homers and seven RBIs.
Moreland is also producing, compiling a .395 average with eight RBIs while hitting six of his nine homers over the last 11 games. All three of his hits in this series have left the park, while driving in four runs.
The first baseman homered twice Tuesday, and his solo shot in the 10th inning after Beltre provided his own proved to be the difference in a 6-5 win Tuesday night at Oakland (20-21) that ended a five-game losing streak there.
"They've had a good run against us here," said closer Joe Nathan , who got out of a bases-loaded jam to get the save Tuesday. "They're a tough ballclub and they know how to win games."
Texas (25-14) has dropped nine of the past 12 visits to O.co Coliseum since winning five straight there from Aug. 12-Sept. 21, 2011.
Beltre could prove vital again since he's hitting .447 over his last nine games against the A's, including four hits in this series.
Alexi Ogando (3-2, 3.09 ERA) may be looking for some redemption in his first appearance at Oakland since a relief appearance in a 12-5 loss in the regular-season finale Oct. 3. He gave up four runs while managing just one out in the eighth, as Texas completed its late-season collapse that handed the AL West title to the A's.
The right-hander is 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA in his past five road starts and struggled with his command while not getting a decision in Friday's 4-2 win at Houston. He gave up two runs in 5 2-3 innings, but one scored on one of his two wild pitches while he matched his career high with four walks.
His only career start against the A's came at home on Sept. 10, 2011, allowing five runs - three earned - and hitting a batter in five innings of an 8-7 loss.
Oakland has rotated wins and losses over the past four games, but may get a lift if Coco Crisp is back in the lineup after a strained left hamstring landed him on the disabled list May 1.
The center fielder is expected to be activated, and he's 6 for 19 with four extra-base hits while adding seven RBIs and four steals over his last five games versus Texas.
Daniel Straily (1-1, 7.06) is expected to start after being tagged for six runs while issuing four walks in five innings of a 6-3 loss at Seattle on Friday.
The rookie right-hander is 0-1 with an 8.84 ERA while serving up 10 homers over his last four home starts.
He allowed one earned run with eight strikeouts in 6 2-3 innings while not getting a decision in a 5-4 road loss in his only meeting with the Rangers on Sept. 24.
Josh Donaldson is 8 for 17 over his past four games with Texas, but he's 0 for 4 versus Ogando.
|May 06, 2013||A.J. Pierzynski||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|April 20, 2013||Nick Tepesch||Day-to-Day||Left game - right arm bruise|
|April 11, 2013||Justin Miller||60-Day DL||Recovery from right elbow surgery|
|April 07, 2013||Matt Harrison||15-Day DL||Inflamed nerve in lower back|
|April 07, 2013||Yu Darvish||Day-to-Day||Left game - blister|
|March 24, 2013||Neftali Feliz||60-Day DL||Recovery from right elbow surgery|
|May 07, 2013||Josh Reddick||15-Day DL||Sprained right wrist|
|May 07, 2013||Josh Reddick||Day-to-Day||Sore right wrist|
|May 06, 2013||Jarrod Parker||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained neck|
|May 01, 2013||Brett Anderson||15-Day DL||Sprained right ankle|
|April 30, 2013||Chris Young||15-Day DL||Strained left quad|
|April 30, 2013||Coco Crisp||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- If he had to choose one highlight play, Nelson Cruz preferred his run-saving, diving catch to his towering, three-run homer.
Those contributions with the bat and glove played a huge part in the first-place Texas Rangers holding momentum in the AL West with a 6-2 victory against the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday for a winning series.
Cruz connected for his 10th homer in the fifth, then chased down Brandon Moss ' line drive to the gap in right-center for a defensive gem to end the sixth with Oakland runners on first and second.
"I had four or five steps before I got to the ball, I thought I had a chance before I dived," Cruz said. "I think the catch in that situation was nice."
Alexi Ogando thought so. He went on to earn his first career win against Oakland.
Ogando (4-2) didn't allow a hit until Eric Sogard 's leadoff double in the sixth. The right-hander won his second straight decision and earned only his second victory in seven outings since consecutive wins starting the season.
Cruz greeted reliever Jesse Chavez in the fifth with a first-pitch drive to left, highlighting the Rangers' four-run inning.
"Hey, I'm an aggressive hitter," Cruz said, "I'm not going to change my approach."
Lance Berkman hit a two-run single and Adrian Beltre added an RBI single a day after hitting a 10th-inning home run. Elvis Andrus stole his ninth and 10th bases as the Rangers won their first series in Oakland since Sept. 20-22, 2011.
Ogando was thrilled with Cruz's day - especially that pretty catch.
"Wow," the pitcher said. "It was an excellent play that helped so much. It's what we needed at that moment."
Derek Norris hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth for Oakland's first run. Coco Crisp , fresh off the disabled list, added one of his own in the seventh.
Last Oct. 3, Ogando entered in relief of the Rangers' 12-5 loss in Game No. 162 and was tagged for four runs in the eighth inning as the A's rallied to grab the AL West crown away from the Rangers.
Now, with the AL West-leading Rangers on a nice roll in mid-May, Ogando's first road win in his last six outings gave Texas some momentum heading home for a key four-game series with the Tigers starting Thursday.
The right-hander allowed two runs on four hits in six innings in his majors-leading seventh road start, his second ever against the A's and first in the Coliseum.
Cruz's home run gave the Rangers 14 in their last six games - including three Tuesday night, two of them by Moreland.
"We've been playing real well all season long," Cruz said. "The offense has been getting clutch hits all year long, and the way Ogando threw was nice."
The Rangers wrapped up a 6-3 trip, and these clubs meet again for three games beginning Monday in Arlington. Texas played its majors-high 25th road game, but begins a four-game series against AL champion Detroit on Thursday night.
After losing the series opener 5-1, first-place Texas snapped a five-game losing streak in Oakland with a 6-5 win in 10 innings Tuesday night on the way to a third winning series in the last four.
"We wanted to come here and play good baseball and we're fortunate we did," manager Ron Washington said.
The A's loaded the bases with one out against Rangers reliever Michael Kirkman in the seventh, but got only Crisp's sacrifice fly.
Oakland starter Dan Straily (1-2) had his problems, too.
He plunked Ian Kinsler and Andrus back to back to load the bases with two outs in the third, then Berkman's single up the middle gave the Rangers the lead.
Straily avoided further damage in the fourth. After consecutive one-out walks to Mitch Moreland and David Murphy , and a wild pitch that advanced them both, Straily got a pair of flyball outs to escape unscathed. He walked four and struck out two in 4 1-3 innings of his second straight losing start and fourth consecutive winless outing.
"We're not playing well right now and we have to power through this, win some games and get on a roll," manager Bob Melvin said.
Crisp returned from a strained left hamstring and went 0 for 3 in his usual leadoff spot and playing center field.
NOTES: Rangers C Geovany Soto got a day off. ... A's LHP Brett Anderson experienced further soreness in his sprained right ankle after going through pitcher's fielding practice Tuesday. "Brett won't pitch tomorrow and maybe not in the foreseeable future here," Melvin said. "We're just not past the soreness that he's getting." ... After getting a break Wednesday, Oakland OF Chris Young (strained left quadriceps) is scheduled to play one more rehab outing Thursday with Triple-A Sacramento with the hope he will be activated from the DL on Friday ahead of a home weekend series against the Kansas City Royals . ... Melvin will spend Thursday's off day next door at Oracle Arena cheering on the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals against San Antonio. ... Texas RHP Yu Darvish (6-1) faces Tigers ace Justin Verlander (4-3) in an anticipated matchup Thursday. The Rangers won seven of 10 vs. Detroit last year for their most victories in the season series since going 8-3 in 1998. "I'm just looking forward to beating Verlander," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. ... Rangers RHP Justin Miller is scheduled to be sent on rehab assignment Friday. He is on the 60-day DL recovering from elbow ligament-replacement surgery.