Darvish, Parker conclude set between A's, Rangers

Yu Darvish has been one of the best pitchers in baseball this season.

However, that hasn't been the case for him against the Oakland Athletics and if that continues to be the trend on Wednesday the Rangers won't have sole possession of first place in the American League West.

Darvish tries to help the Rangers extend their lead atop the division, as they close out a three-game set with the A's at Coliseum.

The Japanese right-hander flirted with a no-hitter on Friday against Minnesota, but surrendered back-to-back home runs in the seventh inning and was charged with the loss, dropping him to 12-6 on the year to go along with a 2.73 ERA.

"Yes, I'm very frustrated," said Darvish, who struck out 11 in the loss and leads the majors with 236 strikeouts.

Darvish could continue to be frustrated on Wednesday, as he has lost twice already to the A's this season and has dropped his last four starts to them while posting a 5.18 ERA.

Texas moved a game back in front of the A's on Tuesday, as Martin Perez won his sixth straight start in leading the Rangers to a 5-1 victory.

The A's won the opener of this three-game series on Labor Day to pull even atop the division, but Oakland's four-game winning streak came to an end as Perez (9-3) gave up just one run on eight hits over seven effective frames.

"Every time he goes out there, it's another experience," said Texas manager Ron Washington about Perez. "I just think we need to let him continue to grow and whatever expectations come up on him, let him put it on himself."

Jurickson Profar went 2-for-3 with a run scored and another driven in, while Alex Rios and Mitch Moreland both added solo homers in the win for the Rangers, who snapped a two-game losing streak.

A's starter Bartolo Colon (14-6) lasted just five innings after allowing eight hits and four runs, though only one was earned.

"It's not like they knocked him around," said Oakland manager Bob Melvin. "Quite a few bloop hits, hit the one home run."

Oakland stands a good chance at finding the win column again, as it hands the ball to righty Jarrod Parker, who hasn't lost since falling to the Rangers back on May 22. In fact, he is 8-0 with a 2.57 ERA in 17 starts since that setback. The unbeaten streak is tied with Catfish Hunter for the longest in franchise history among starters.

Parker did not get a decision on Friday against Tampa Bay, as he surrendered three runs and six hits in seven innings of a 4-3 win.

Parker, who beat Darvish back on June 18, is 5-1 lifetime versus the Rangers with a 2.93 ERA in six starts.

Texas has won nine of 15 from the A's this season.