Rangers aim to stay on a roll against A's

The Texas Rangers shoot for their second straight win and game series against the Oakland Athletics at the Coliseum.

The Rangers, who have a crucial four-game set coming up against the Angels starting on Monday, are now two games ahead of Anaheim in the American League West standings after putting up a resounding 9-1 victory in the opener versus the A's last night.

Texas broke the game wide open on Friday with a six-run second inning and never looked back as they defeated Oakland for the seventh time in 11 opportunities in 2011. Endy Chavez, who forced Oakland starter Brandon McCarthy out of the game when he drilled him with a line drive in the fourth inning, finished with three hits and two runs scored. Michael Young added two hits, boosting his season batting average to .335 in the process.

Rangers starter C.J. Wilson was awarded his 11th win of 2011 as he gave up just one run on four hits and three walks, striking out seven over the course of six innings.

Adding insult to injury, literally, McCarthy was saddled with the loss for the A's after permitting seven runs -- five earned -- on eight hits in his 3 1/3 innings of action.

"I don't know what it feels like to have a knee blown apart or to do something serious to it but it didn't feel like anything too horrible," McCarthy said. "It wasn't even the first thing I noticed. When I tried to stand up, I noticed it. I was in pain but I knew it wasn't too horribly serious."

Oakland hitters produced just five hits in the meeting, two of those being doubles by Conor Jackson who also knocked in Josh Willingham for the team's lone run in the sixth inning as they lost their sixth straight meeting against the Rangers.

Already 2-0 against Oakland this season, Colby Lewis tries to remain perfect against the A's as he takes the hill for the visitors in today's matchup. The right-hander, who is 5-3 in his career versus Oakland, was pitted against Cleveland in his most recent outing last weekend but was denied a decision even as Texas claimed the 5-3 win.

In that contest Lewis allowed three runs on five hits and a walk, striking out three over 7 1/3 innings. Even though the hurler failed to add to his own win column, he has been quite solid for the Rangers dating back to the last week of June, the team winning six of his last eight outings.

As for the A's, they have Trevor Cahill penciled in as their starter this time around and it certainly looks like a good plan considering he is 2-1 with a 1.25 ERA this season against Texas. For his career, the right-hander is 8-3 with a 2.19 ERA in 12 games versus the Rangers.

Most recently Cahill stepped up against Tampa Bay on the road last weekend, the California native working his way through six innings, allowing three runs on six hits and a pair of walks while striking out five in a 5-4 victory. However, Cahill didn't factor into the decision and is still one games below .500 (9-10) on the season as a result.

Oakland, which has lost two of the last three, is now 13 1/2 games out of contention in the AL West, yet the club has the second-best team ERA in the league at 3.51. The bigger issue for the A's is the fact that they are hitting just .246 and have a mere 76 home runs, numbers that leave the squad third from the bottom in the AL in both categories.

At the other end of the spectrum is Texas, which has belted 140 home runs in 118 games, third-most in the league, and because of that the club is second in the American League in slugging percentage (.448), trailing only Boston entering action on Saturday.