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American League Preview from The Sports Network

Wednesday, May 16th (All times Eastern)

Oakland Athletics (19-18) at Texas Rangers (23-14), 8:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Oakland - Tommy Milone (5-2, 3.92) Texas - Yu Darvish (5-1, 2.84)

(Sports Network) - The Oakland Athletics can cut into the Texas Rangers' lead atop the American League West standings when the two division foes collide tonight in the opener of a two-game series in Arlington.

Oakland sits four games behind Texas for the AL West lead and split a two-game set with the division-rival LA Angels of Anaheim to open a seven-game road trip. In Tuesday's 4-0 loss at Angel Stadium, Ervin Santana pitched 7 2/3 shutout innings for the win and Bartolo Colon was reached for four runs and 12 hits through 6 2/3 frames to absorb the loss.

"Ervin pitched well today," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "After the third inning, because of the shadows, we couldn't see the spin on the ball. He kept us off balance."

Cliff Pennington and Kila Ka'aihue both doubled for the A's, who finished with just five hits to Anaheim's 12. Oakland, which entered the game with three wins in four tries, went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

The Athletics will also visit San Francisco for three games on the trek and hope Tommy Milone can stay hot on the season when he toes the rubber tonight. Milone has won two straight and four of five starts, and was solid in Friday's 11-4 victory over Detroit. He surrendered two runs -- one earned -- and five hits in seven innings to improve to 5-2 in seven starts to go along with a 3.92 earned run average.

Oakland has scored six or more runs in each of the lefty's last three starts. He has never faced the Rangers in his career.

Texas has lost two straight and three of four contests, including Tuesday's 7-4 loss versus the Kansas City Royals in the back end of a two-game series.

Colby Lewis wasn't given much help on the mound as he gave up seven runs -- two earned -- and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. He also had two throwing errors. Brandon Snyder homered, while Josh Hamilton, David Murphy and Mitch Moreland each drove in a run for the Rangers, who are 2-3 on a seven-game homestand.

"We didn't put as many runs on the board as we needed to," Murphy said.

Hamilton extended his hitting streak to 15 games and is one of five players with 44 or more RBI through his team's first 35 games in a season.

Yu Darvish hopes Hamilton can continue his power surge when he toes the rubber tonight. Darvish is 5-1 with a 2.84 ERA in seven starts this season and last pitched in Friday's 10-3 win over the Angels. He allowed three earned runs for the second straight start and lasted 5 1/3 innings on the hill. Darvish struck out seven batters and has fanned that many or more in four straight outings.

The Japanese right-hander is 3-0 in three home starts and will face the Athletics for the first time.

Texas went 13-6 against Oakland a season ago, going 7-2 in Arlington.

05/16 10:59:45 ET