Rangers shoot for series win over AL West-leading A's

The Texas Rangers eye a series win and try to get even closer in the American League West standings on Thursday when they close out their four-game set with the Oakland Athletics at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Texas had lost six in a row before taking two of the first three from the division-leading A's. On Wednesday, Adrian Beltre's RBI double capped a four- run sixth inning, and Texas pulled away for a 9-4 win.

Lance Berkman belted a two-run homer in the second inning, and Nelson Cruz went 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI in the win. Ian Kinsler also drove in two runs and David Murphy had three hits and two runs scored.

Chris Young smacked a three-run homer for the Athletics, who have dropped four of their last six contests. They lead the Rangers by two games.

Justin Grimm (6-5) allowed three hits and as many runs over five innings to get the win, the first by a Rangers starter in club's 18 games this month.

"This win goes to our offense," Grimm said. "They came back and picked me up after that pitch. That's good to see."

Tommy Milone (6-7) was charged with eight hits and six runs over 5 1/3 frames.

"With this lineup, you can't afford to miss a whole lot and expect good results," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "That's what they get paid to do -- hit mistakes."

Getting the call for the Rangers on Thursday will be righty Josh Lindblom, who is 0-2 in three starts this season with a 5.94 ERA. Lindblom lost to Toronto on Saturday, as he surrendered four runs and five hits in six innings.

"I said that night after he pitched, giving up four runs, we never concern ourselves on four runs early," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "We should be able to make that up. We just haven't so far this month. We're not worried about that."

Lindblom's first start this season was a loss to the A's. He's 0-2 lifetime against them with a 13.50 ERA in two games (1 start) against them.

Oakland, meanwhile, will turn to righty A.J. Griffin, who has lost his last three decisions. Griffin lost his second straight start on Saturday against Seattle, as he allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings to drop to 5-6 to go along with a 3.93 ERA.

Griffin beat the Rangers earlier in the year and is 1-0 in three starts against them with a 2.87 ERA.

Texas has split eight meetings with the A's this season.