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A's edge Rangers, move into tie for first

Oakland, CA (Sports Network) - The Athletics and Texas Rangers once again sit atop the AL West standings together after Oakland held on for a 4-2 win Monday in the opener of a critical three-game series at O.co Coliseum.

Coco Crisp belted a go-ahead, two-run homer in the fifth inning and Yoenis Cespedes added a solo blast for the A's, who have won seven of their last eight to pull even with the Rangers.

Grant Balfour put the tying run on second base in the ninth but escaped with his 36th after getting Ian Kinsler on a flyout to right and Adrian Beltre on a groundout to third.

Four Oakland relievers combined for four scoreless innings after Dan Straily (8-7) allowed two runs on three hits and three walks in the first five frames.

Texas has dropped three of four and couldn't get much going offensively outside of David Murphy's two-run homer. The club went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left 11 on base.

Derek Holland (9-7) was touched for four runs -- three earned -- on five hits and five walks in just 4 2/3 innings. It was the first time since June 6 the left-hander failed to work through the sixth -- a span of 14 starts.

09/02 19:06:31 ET