The Oakland Athletics can take comfort in knowing they'll leave Texas still leading the AL West.
They can pad their lead by extending the struggles of the second-place Rangers on Wednesday night.
Brandon Moss hit his 13th homer while Jarrod Parker and two relievers held Texas (39-32) to three hits to help Oakland even the four-game set with a 6-2 win Tuesday. The A's (43-30) have dropped three of five since winning 21 of 26, but own a three-game lead over a Rangers club that has lost seven of eight and is 5-12 this month.
Oakland scored five runs in six innings of Yu Darvish , who is winless in six straight starts and 1-4 with a 4.22 ERA in five against the A's."We may do better against him than other teams, maybe, because we see him more often being in our division and we always seem to get him," Moss said.
Aside from Monday's 8-7 win over Oakland, Texas has totaled 10 runs in its seven losses over the last eight. Its starting pitchers have gone without a win this month, breaking the team record of 16 straight set in 1975."We just went through this spell not scoring runs," manager Ron Washington said. "It's tough for starters to hang out there."
Texas second basemen Ian Kinsler had a hit Tuesday, but also needed stitches near his jaw after a collision at home plate in third inning. Four games back from missing almost a month with an oblique strain, Kinsler was screened for a concussion and remained in the game.
He is 3 for 7 in the series, and 2 for 6 against scheduled Oakland starter Tommy Milone (6-6, 3.61 ERA).
Milone is 1-1 with a 2.18 ERA in his last three starts. He gave up two runs in 6 2-3 innings of a 3-2 loss to Seattle on Friday.
The left-hander, who has allowed two or fewer runs in eight of his 14 starts, posted a 2.50 ERA despite going 0-2 in three road starts against the Rangers last season.
Tied for the team lead with 13 homers, Moss is batting .357 (10 for 28) with four homers and seven RBIs in his last six games. He recorded three home runs for his only hits in his previous 36 at bats.
Moss is 2 for 3 with a double and homer against scheduled Texas starter Justin Grimm (5-5, 5.59), who is 0-2 with an 11.40 ERA in his last three starts. The right-hander allowed seven runs and 10 hits in 7 2-3 innings of an 8-0 loss to Toronto on Friday.
In those three starts, Grimm has endured a six-run inning and two four-run frames.
"I got to learn a little damage control," he told the Rangers' official website. "It seems to be the difference in my last couple outings. It hasn't been terrible; it's just seen one big inning that gets to me."
Grimm allowed five runs and homers to Moss and Yoenis Cespedes in five innings of a 5-1 loss at Oakland on May 13.
|June 11, 2013||Yoenis Cespedes||Day-to-Day||Left game - left hamstring tightness|
|May 07, 2013||Josh Reddick||15-Day DL||Sprained right wrist|
|May 07, 2013||Josh Reddick||15-Day DL||Sprained 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|
|May 01, 2013||Brett Anderson||60-Day DL||Right foot stress fracture|
|June 13, 2013||Jeff Baker||15-Day DL||Sprained right thumb|
|June 07, 2013||Nelson Cruz||Day-to-Day||Hamstring|
|June 07, 2013||Michael Kirkman||60-Day DL||Cutaneous lymphoma in right triceps|
|June 06, 2013||Alexi Ogando||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|June 06, 2013||Mitch Moreland||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|June 05, 2013||Mitch Moreland||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained left hamstring|
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- When Justin Grimm threw his last pitch, the Texas Rangers were trailing the AL West-leading Oakland Athletics .
The rookie right-hander stayed in just long enough to become the first Rangers starter to get a victory in June.
David Murphy and Leonys Martin singled and scored in Texas' two-run fifth, and the Rangers rallied to beat the A's 9-4 on Wednesday night.
"For sure, this win goes to our offense, they came back and helped me out, picked me up," said Grimm, who leads American League rookies with six wins.
Oakland went ahead 3-2 in the fifth on a three-run homer by Chris Young , which came after Grimm walked two batters.
Ian Kinsler hit a sacrifice fly off Tommy Milone (6-7) in the bottom half that scored Murphy. Martin raced home on a grounder for the go-ahead run.
"I think we can go out there now and be competitive," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "I think we got the monkey off our back as far as having a total drought offensively. I think some guys are starting do some things all throughout the lineup. ... We start getting more consistent, then we'll get back to playing our baseball."
Nelson Cruz , hitting third for the first time this season in Washington's 50th different batting order in 72 games, had three hits and drove in two runs. Lance Berkman homered.
Rangers starting pitchers had gone 17 consecutive games without a win since Derek Holland beat Kansas City on May 31. The team's previous longest such stretch was 16 in a row in 1975.
They scored nine runs for the first time since a 9-5 win over Arizona on May 30. Their 14 hits were the most since the game Holland won.
Texas opened the four-game series with an 8-7 win Monday night. That snapped a six-game losing streak when the Rangers scored a combined eight runs.
With only their fourth win in 14 games, the Rangers pulled within two games of Oakland. The A's will go for a split in the finale of the four-game series Thursday, but will leave Texas still in first place regardless of what happens.
In the Oakland fifth, Grimm (6-5) walked Josh Reddick , a .206 hitter, before a wild pitch and then a walk to No. 9 hitter Eric Sogard . Young homered onto the hill in straightaway center field for a 3-2 lead.
Even though he was hitting only .186, Young was in the leadoff spot with Coco Crisp and John Jaso out of the starting lineup.
Before that, the A's didn't have a runner get past first base. But their lead didn't last long after Grimm's last pitch.
"Chris hits a big home run and that's a big momentum shift in the game," manager Bob Melvin said. "It didn't look like Tommy had his best stuff, we weren't swinging the bats as well, it just seemed like it was their game for a bit, and now all of a sudden we're ahead. So it is really important you go out there and shut it down."
Murphy and Martin, left-handed hitters at the bottom of the Texas batting order, had consecutive singles off lefty Milone to start the fifth. Murphy scored on Kinsler's fly ball and Martin immediately took off from third on Cruz's grounder.
Third baseman Josh Donaldson 's throw was to the first base-side of the plate, and by time Derek Norris caught it and reached back to try to apply a tag, Martin had slid past him and reached back with his hand to slap the plate.
"There was a lot of stuff going on there ... I saw in my peripheral, I saw him running," Donaldson said. "I didn't think he was going to be running because of how hard the ball was hit. ... If I make the throw I normally do, he's out."
Murphy had only seven hits in his previous 51 at-bats before hits in three consecutive innings - two singles before a double in the seventh.
Robinson Chirinos and Murphy had consecutive one-singles in the sixth to chase Milone, who allowed six runs and eight hits. Martin and Kinsler greeted Dan Otero with consecutive RBI singles.
Jaso, who was getting a break before Thursday's day game, had to come in after Norris was struck by a foul tip off Adrian Beltre 's bat in the sixth. Norris went down to his knees and stayed in that position for several minutes before being helped off the field.
"Any time you get hit in the you-know-what, it's not the best feeling in the world," Norris said. "I've had my share of shots in that area being behind the plate, but that was by far the worse pain I've ever been in. ... Still feeling it pretty good."
When play resumed, Beltre hit an RBI double for an 8-3 lead.
Grimm allowed three hits, struck out three and walked three.
"He got us five and kept us in the game. That's all we ask," Washington said. "We were able to do the rest for him."
NOTES: Rangers 1B Mitch Moreland completed a three-game rehabilitation assignment going 6 for 9 with three doubles and a homer for Double-A Frisco. He is eligible to be reinstated Friday for the opener of a three-game series at St. Louis. ... Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito threw the ceremonial first pitch. ... Oakland is 5-6 in its last 11 games. ... Berkman's homer was a two-run shot in the second for his sixth of the season.