Arlington, TX – Travis Blackley tossed seven innings of one- run ball as the Oakland Athletics avoided a four-game sweep at the hands of the Texas Rangers with a 3-1 win.
Blackley (2-2) gave up seven hits with no walks and three strikeouts for the Athletics. Brandon Moss hit a solo home run and Derek Norris drove in a run in the win.
"I'm just trying to throw quality starts in a row, that's the new goal," said Blackley. "You're not gonna have it every day so when you don't have it you want to try and battle through it and keep your team in the position to win."
Elvis Andrus drove in the only run of the game for the Rangers, who had a five-game winning streak halted. Yu Darvish (10-5) was touched for three runs on five hits with three walks and 11 strikeouts over seven innings to have a three-start winning streak stopped.
The Rangers struck in the third inning with a two-out run. Yorvit Torrealba led off the frame with a single, but was picked off. After Craig Gentry flied out, Ian Kinsler doubled and came home on an Andrus single.
"(Blackley) kept us off balance," said Gentry. "We just weren't able to get anything going offensively."
Oakland, though, tied the game in the fifth as Seth Smith led off with a double and Norris plated him with a single. Darvish rallied by striking out the side to prevent any more damage.
It was a 2-1 Oakland lead in the sixth. Coco Crisp led off with a walk, but was erased on a fielder's choice. After Josh Reddick struck out, Yoenis Cespedes doubled. A wild pitch from Darvish then allowed Jemile Weeks to cross the plate.
Moss led off the seventh with a home run, his eighth of the year.
Blackley left a man on base in the seventh before stepping aside for Grant Balfour, who ran into trouble in the eighth.
Torrealba led off the frame with a single and Kinsler reached base with one out on a Brandon Inge error. After getting Andrus to fly out, Balfour stepped aside for Jerry Blevins, who got Josh Hamilton to pop out and end the inning.
Ryan Cook worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his seventh save of the season.
The Rangers are well represented at the All-Star game as seven players were announced on Sunday. Adrian Beltre, Mike Napoli and Hamilton will all start while pitchers Matt Harrison and Joe Nathan will be there. Andrus and Kinsler were named as reserves while Darvish is a candidate in the Final Vote...Oakland will send Cook to Kansas City to represent the team in the All- Star game...Each team has won five games in the season series.