Arlington, TX – Bartolo Colon outpitched Yu Darvish and the Oakland Athletics continued to increase their AL West lead over Texas with Saturday's 1-0 win.
Colon (16-6) held the Rangers to seven hits, walked one and struck out seven over eight innings. Grant Balfour worked around a two-out walk to Mitch Moreland in the ninth, getting pinch-hitter David Murphy looking at a called third strike for his 38th save.
Brandon Moss drove in the only run with a first-inning double for the Athletics, who have won four straight and seven of eight, upping their lead to 5 1/2 games over Texas for first place.
"This is how many we were down last year with nine to go and we ended up winning it, so it's not over," said Moss.
The hit by Moss was just one of four allowed by Darvish (12-9), who walked one and fanned 10 in seven innings.
Ian Kinsler and A.J. Pierzynski both had two hits for Texas, which still has hold of an AL wild card spot but wants more out of the season.
"We're still going to try to go for the division. I think that's what we all want," said Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus.
The Rangers have lost five games in a row and eight of nine overall.
Texas finished 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight, including two men in scoring position in the fourth. Geovany Soto followed a two-out single by Pierzynski with a double, but Colon struck out Moreland swinging to end the threat.
Another runner was left at third base in the eighth.
Colon became the first pitcher to notch 20 wins against the Texas Rangers. He is now 20-8 versus the franchise for his career. Bert Blyleven, Dennis Leonard and Jack Morris had 19 wins against the Rangers ... Darvish has lost four consecutive starts for the first time in his career and is winless in his last six outings ... Oakland's Josh Donaldson singled in the sixth to extend his hitting streak to 10 games.