Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest
By ASSOCIATED PRESS  |  Last updated 9/4/13
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Jarrod Parker got plenty of home-run help and pitched his way into Oakland's record book, and the surging Athletics pulled into a tie atop the AL West with Texas by overpowering the Rangers 11-4 on Wednesday. Parker (11-6) allowed two runs in six innings to extend his unbeaten streak to 18 straight starts, eclipsing Catfish Hunter's Oakland mark set from June 2-Sept. 3, 1973. Parker also has won his last nine decisions, the most by an A's pitcher since Dan Haren won 10 in a row in 2007. Brandon Moss, Daric Barton and Coco Crisp each hit two-run homers and Josh Donaldson added a three-run drive for Oakland. The A's handed Yu Darvish (12-7) a loss in consecutive starts for the first time all season. Darvish gave up five runs -- matching a season-high -- and walked six -- tying a career-high -- in five-plus innings. He is 1-5 with 4.82 ERA against Oakland. Darvish also made a pointed gesture that appeared to signal catcher A.J. Pierzynski to go back behind the plate during a mound visit by pitching coach Mike Maddux. Both players appeared to exchange words in the dugout between innings. A's opening day starter Brett Anderson allowed two runs in three innings for his second save. A year after the A's completed a three-game sweep over the Rangers to win the division on the final day, the AL West race is again shaping up as a tight race. Oakland has won nine of its last 10 to set up what should be a scintillating September. The teams play three more times in Texas from Sept. 13-16. The Rangers, just as they did a year ago, wilted in their final game at the Oakland Coliseum of the regular season. Moss sent his 26th home run of the season over the wall in right in the first. Darvish struggled with his command from the start, bouncing balls in front of the plate and piling up his pitch count. By the second, he had already matched a season-high with four walks and had thrown 42 pitches. Leonys Martin hit an RBI double and Craig Gentry singled him home in the third to slice Oakland's lead to 3-2, but the Rangers blew their best chance to rally in the fifth. Shortstop Jed Lowrie bobbled Jim Adduci's grounder and Martin's sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position. Jurickson Profar broke to the plate on Gentry's comebacker and was tagged out trying to get back to third. Barton's second home run of the season -- and first in Oakland since July 10, 2010 -- ended Darvish's day. Donaldson's 20th homer and Crisp's 18th put Parker in position to make history. The only A's starting pitcher with a longer unbeaten streak is Lefty Grove, who went 21 in a row from April 22-Aug. 19, 1931. The Hall of Famer also had 10 relief appearances during the streak, including one loss. NOTES: Parker hasn't lost since a 3-1 defeat at Texas on May 22. ... Rangers SS Elvis Andrus missed his fourth straight game with a sore back. He said he could've played, but with a day off Thursday, manager Ron Washington wanted to give Andrus extra time to recover. ... Athletics C Derek Norris, who fractured his left big toe Aug. 21, said he feels "ready to go" and expects to be activated from the 15-day disabled list when eligible Thursday. ... Rangers LHP Martin Perez was chosen as the AL Rookie of the Month for August on Tuesday. ... The A's send Sonny Gray (2-2, 2.57 ERA) to the mound against Brad Peacock (3-5, 5.98 ERA) in the opener of a four-game series at Houston on Thursday. Matt Garza (9-3, 3.55 ERA) goes for the Rangers on Friday at the Los Angeles Angels, who counter with C.J. Wilson (14-6, 3.35 ERA).
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