Harden has strong start, but Rangers fall to A's

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — Rich Harden, who had yielded 15 runs on 14 hits and nine walks in his past three starts, gave the Texas Rangers a strong outing Friday in a 6-3 loss to an Oakland Athletics split-squad.

Harden held the A's to three runs on four hits and five walks while striking out five in 5 2-3 innings. He gave up a run-scoring double to Ryan Sweeney and an RBI single to Jack Cust in the first inning and a solo homer to Anthony Recker in the second.

Jake Fox hit a three-run home run in the ninth off Rangers right-hander Neftali Feliz.

Vin Mazzaro, competing for the fifth slot in Oakland's rotation, gave up two runs on three hits and three walks in four innings. Nelson Cruz singled home Josh Hamilton in the first, while Vladimir Guerrero scored on a Mazzaro balk.