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Rangers start series with Oakland

The Texas Rangers will try not to lose any more ground in game series tonight versus the Oakland Athletics in Arlington.

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."

Ian Kinsler homered twice and Mike Napoli ended 4-for-5 with a home run for the Rangers. Kinsler has 28 homers, three shy of his career high.

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."

Jemile Weeks finished with four hits and an RBI and Scott Sizemore drove in two runs for the Athletics, who have won five of seven games.

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.