Arlington, TX – Yoenis Cespedes homered for the game's only run and Dan Straily spun seven stellar innings of two-hit ball to lift the Oakland Athletics over the Texas Rangers, 1-0, in the second installment of a three-game set at Rangers Ballpark.
Cespedes launched his ninth of the season with two away in the third, while Straily (2-2) struck out five without walking a batter to earn his first victory since his first start of the season on April 5.
"Best pitching performance we've seen out of him to date," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Straily. "Really aggressive today."
Sean Doolittle worked around a two-out single in the eighth before Grant Balfour fired a perfect ninth to notch his ninth save and secure Oakland's fifth straight triumph.
Texas' offensive struggles spoiled a solid start from Yu Darvish (7-2), who scattered five hits and three walks over six frames to absorb his second loss of the season and first since April 12.
A.J. Pierzynski, who was activated off the disabled list before the game, registered one of the three hits for the Rangers, who have dropped back-to- back games to the A's after taking two of three from their AL West rivals in Oakland last week.
"He was okay. He wasn't, obviously, as sharp as he'd been," Pierzynski said of Darvish. "He really only made one mistake and that was the ball that the guy hit for the home run."
After stranding runners on first and second in the second inning, Cespedes gave the A's the only run they would need in the third when he scorched a first-pitch fastball to straightaway center field to make it 1-0.
Pierzynski provided the Rangers' first hit with a one-out single in the third, but Straily retired the next nine hitters he faced in order before Jurickson Profar smacked a base hit with one away in the sixth.
Straily bounced back with a strikeout of Elvis Andrus and then picked off Profar to end the inning before pitching a 1-2-3 seventh.
Doolittle then did his job in the eighth before Balfour retired the Rangers in order in the ninth.
Oakland's last 14 homers have been of the solo variety, breaking the club record for the longest such streak in Oakland history (June 1-15, 2007). Oakland's last home run with a runner on base was a two-run shot by Cespedes on May 5 at New York ... Texas purchased the contract of Neal Cotts from Triple-A Round Rock and optioned pitcher Josh Lindblom and catcher Robinson Chirinos to Round Rock ... Oakland outrighted first baseman Daric Barton to Triple-A Sacramento ... Oakland went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left 11 on base, while the Rangers did not move a runner into scoring position all night.