Texas is only 2 1/2 games ahead of the LA Angels of Anaheim in the division standings and had won four of six games until suffering a 5-4 loss in 10 innings at Tampa Bay on Wednesday. Rangers reliever Mark Lowe served a game- winning home run to Desmond Jennings in the bottom of the 10th inning to absorb the loss and starter Derek Holland allowed four runs -- three earned -- in 6 2/3 innings in the no-decision.
"That first inning was the big one that killed me," Holland said. "Falling behind the hitters, I think that was the big thing that hurt."
Colby Lewis gets the nod for the Rangers on Friday and he's 11-10 with a 4.32 ERA in 28 starts. He is 0-2 in his previous four outings and is coming off Saturday's 12-7 loss at Boston in which the righty gave up four runs and seven hits in 3 1/3 innings.
Lewis beat the Athletics on Aug. 13 this season and is 6-3 with a 3.12 ERA in 16 career games (14 starts) against them.
Oakland salvaged the finale of a three-game series versus Kansas City with Wednesday's 7-0 drubbing behind a brilliant performance from starter Guillermo Moscoso, who fired 8 2/3 shutout innings and allowed just two hits. Moscoso carried a perfect game into the sixth inning, while Fautino De Los Santos got the final out of the game.
"It can be a tough job sometimes," A's skipper Bob Melvin said of removing his starter so late. "I'm close to Mo-Mo and I've gotten to know Mo pretty well here this year. He's a fighter, he's a tough kid. There's guys with better stuff, but I don't know if there's too many with a bigger heart. It was difficult to have to take him out."
Brandon McCarthy draws the start for Oakland tonight and he's 8-7 with a 3.41 earned run average in 21 starts. He has won three of his past four outings and posted the first shutout of the season and second of his career in a 3-0 win versus Seattle on Saturday. He allowed three hits and struck out 10 batters.
McCarthy, a right-hander, lost to Texas on Aug. 12 this season and is 1-3 with a 4.60 ERA in seven career games, five of which have been starts, against the Rangers.
The Rangers are 9-4 against Oakland this season and have won eight in a row in this series. Texas is 5-1 at the Ballpark in Arlington.