The Texas Rangers try to move one step closer to a third straight American League West crown on Wednesday when they continue a four- game set with the Oakland Athletics at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Texas saw its lead atop the West dwindled to four and their magic number for clinching the division remain at five on Tuesday, as Oakland pulled out a much-needed win. George Kottaras' solo homer in the 10th inning carried the A's to a 3-2 victory.
Chris Carter also hit a solo homer for Oakland, which is now a half-game behind the Orioles for the top wild card spot in the AL. Baltimore lost to Toronto on Tuesday.
"The farther you go into a season, each and every win has a little bit more magnitude to it," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "This team has responded like this many, many times this year so it doesn't surprise me."
Oakland starter Tommy Milone gave up two unearned runs on six hits over six innings. Evan Scribner (1-0) tossed a scoreless ninth to pick up his first win in the big leagues.
Scott Feldman got the start for Texas after Yu Darvish was scratched due to neck stiffness. He allowed two runs on four hits over four-plus innings. Mark Lowe (0-2) gave up the homer to Kottaras to take the loss.
Getting the call for the Rangers on Wednesday will be 21-year-old lefty Martin Perez, who is 1-2 with a 3.78 ERA. Perez lost to Seattle on Friday, as he surrendered four runs (3 earned) and six hits in four innings.
"He needs better command of his fastball," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "I like the way he competes. He doesn't back down. He's got good enough stuff and he believes in his stuff. I just want him to go out there and keep competing."
Perez beat the A's the only other time he faced them, holding them to two runs back on June 30.
Oakland, meanwhile, will counter with righty Jarrod Parker, who has won four of his last five decisions and is 11-8 with a 3.40 ERA. Parker did not get a decision on Friday against New York, despite a sensational outing that saw him allow just a run in eight innings. He also struck out eight in that one without walking a batter.
He has now allowed two earned runs or less in four straight starts
"I think he feels like he's no longer a rookie with the way he's pitched this time of the year," said Melvin. "He pitched really good."
Parker yielded just one hit over eight scoreless innings to beat the Rangers earlier in the year.
Texas has split its 14 games against the A's this season with five of those wins coming in Arlington.