OAKLAND, Calif. – Athletics manager Bob Melvin made his team take infield before Saturday's game against Texas. He might want to keep them out there a little longer next time.
Oakland committed four errors and threw the ball around carelessly most of the afternoon while wasting an otherwise solid outing from right-hander Trevor Cahill in a 7-1 loss to the Texas Rangers.
It's the fourth time this season that the A's have had four errors or more in a game, a fact that seemed to irritate Melvin to no end.
"It's demoralizing and it's embarrassing. I don't know what else to say," Melvin said. "There's nothing more embarrassing than playing bad defense. You cannot pitch on days, you cannot hit on days but you should bring your glove every day. It's inexcusable."
Oakland's four errors — all coming in the infield — led to only one unearned run but extended several innings. It gave the A's an AL-leading 98 errors for the season, two more than the Rangers.
Cahill (9-11) faced the minimum through five innings and was working on a no-hitter before Yorvit Torrealba's one-out single in the sixth gave the Rangers their second baserunner. But he still dropped to 1-6 with a 5.60 ERA in his last nine starts.
He refused to blame Oakland's defense for his latest setback.
"We have a lot of young guys out there and they are all good defensively," Cahill said. "Most of the time, they make the plays. It just wasn't a good overall game. We have to try and get some momentum for the rest of the homestand."
Colby Lewis and four relievers combined on a five-hitter and Ian Kinsler had two hits and three RBIs for Texas, which increased its AL West lead to three games over the Los Angeles Angels.
Mike Napoli and Elvis Andrus hit run-scoring doubles off Cahill as the Rangers (68-52) moved a season-best 16 games over .500 with their seventh consecutive victory over Oakland.
Jemile Weeks singled, doubled and tripled for the A's, who also had two wild pitches and lost for the seventh time in 11 games.
"We'll continue to work on the defense, it has to be a commitment," Melvin said. "It hasn't paid any dividends. We had four errors but we really played worse than that."
Lewis (11-8) has been hurt by home runs all season long but he handcuffed the A's all afternoon, allowing one run and three hits over 6 1-3 innings while striking out eight. He did not walk a batter while beating his former team for the third time this season.
The right-hander, who pitched for Oakland in 2007, was dominant after surrendering a triple to Weeks on his first pitch of the game. He retired the next 17 hitters in order, including five consecutive strikeouts during one stretch.
Lewis, who hadn't won since July 22, headed for the dugout after Josh Willingham doubled in the seventh. David DeJesus hit an RBI double off Darren Oliver, but Koji Uehara came in and struck out pinch-hitter Conor Jackson before Ryan Sweeney flied out to left to end the inning.
The A's couldn't get much else going and only made things worse with a steady stream of shaky plays in the field.
Texas' first run, in fact, resulted from a pair of Oakland errors.
Torrealba, who extended his hitting streak to 11 games, was thrown out trying to steal second in the sixth but the Rangers still scored after two errors by Weeks on Endy Chavez's grounder to second kept the inning alive.
Kinsler followed with a run-scoring double down the left-field line.
The Rangers made it 2-0 when Josh Hamilton singled leading off the seventh, took second on a wild pitch and scored on Napoli's double.
Andrus doubled in Chavez in the eighth and scored on a throwing error by third baseman Scott Sizemore. Michael Young added an RBI single to make it 5-1.
Cahill allowed four runs, three earned, and seven hits in 7 1-3 innings.
Kinsler, who was batting only .148 over his previous 15 games, had a two-run double in the ninth.
NOTES: Weeks' triple was the first by an Oakland player on the first pitch of a game since Rickey Henderson did it against Detroit on June 25, 1990. ... The A's called up INF Brandon Allen and inserted him in the starting lineup at 1B. Allen was part of the July 31 trade that sent reliever Brad Ziegler to Arizona. ... Oakland also called up RHP Bruce Billings from the minors and optioned INF Adam Rosales and LHP Jordan Norberto to Triple-A Sacramento. ... A's RHP Brandon McCarthy, who was knocked out of Friday's game after being hit near his right knee by a line drive from Chavez in the fourth inning, said he's still sore but the injury doesn't appear to be serious. ... LHP Matt Harrison (10-8) pitches for Texas on Sunday in the series finale while RHP Rich Harden (3-2) goes for Oakland. Harrison, who has won four of his last five decisions, is 1-1 against the A's this season. Harden, the subject of trade rumors just before the deadline, is coming off his best start of the year but has allowed a home run in all seven of his starts.