Brandon Moss put on another power display, Jarrod Parker settled into a groove and the A's pulled even in their four-game series with host Texas Tuesday night.
Oakland's 6-2 defeat of the Rangers and starter Yu Darvish gave the A's (43-30) a three-game lead over Texas again in the American League West.
The Rangers, who have lost seven of eight, did not have a base hit after A.J. Pierzynski's one-out, run-scoring single in the third inning and had just three hits on the night.
"That lineup is very dangerous," Moss said on A's Postgame Live on CSN California. "They're deep and they're balanced.
"Everybody knows this is a good place to hit and their lineup's built very well for it. The job (Parker) did tonight was outstanding because they really know how to hit here, for sure."
Starting pitching report
Parker settled into a nice groove after getting staggered a bit in the third inning. The right-hander went seven innings and gave up two runs and just three hits while walking two and striking out four in 91 pitches, 57 strikes. Parker, who lost his first four decisions of the season, and six of his first eight, evened his record at 6-6. His ERA in his last five outings is 2.04.
Ryan Cook pitched a scoreless eighth inning and, despite it not being a save situation, closer Grant Balfour was used in the ninth and worked a perfect inning after not pitching since Thursday.
At the plate
Moss' solo home run in the second inning gave the A's a 1-0 lead and was his 13th homer of the season, which tied him with Yoenis Cespedes for the team lead. Moss later tripled, his team-leading third of the season, and he was the lone A's batter with multiple hits and is 10 for his last 28. John Jaso also homered, a solo shot as well, in the third for his second homer of the season.
In the field
It was not a classic collision at home plate, but it was close enough. With one out in the third inning and Texas runners at third (Leonys Martin) and second (Ian Kinsler), Pierzynski hit a flare to shallow center that easily scored Martin. A's center fielder Coco Crisp's throw was cut off by second baseman Eric Sogard, who fired home. The ball beat Kinsler to the plate and Kinsler and John Jaso collided, face to face. Jaso, though, was still wearing his catcher's mask. The ball squirted free and Kinsler was safe, though he needed three stitches to the left side of his chin.
The Rangers announced a crowd of 37,769.
Tommy Milone (6-6, 3.61 ERA) has faced the Rangers three times in his young career and has yet to beat them, going 0-2 with a 2.50 ERA. All of the left-hander's starts against Texas were last season, and in Arlington. Milone lost his last start, a 3-2 defeat to Seattle on Friday, but is 3-1 with a 3.49 ERA and opponents are hitting just .233 against him in his last six outings. Right-hander Justin Grimm (5-5, 5.59) is 0-2 with an 11.40 ERA in his last three starts. He has faced the A's twice in his career is and 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA.