Inquirer Daily News

Rangers try to slice into A's division lead

(SportsNetwork.com) - If the Texas Rangers have any intention on making a run in the American League West this week would be a good jumping off point.

The Rangers will try to slice into the Oakland Athletics' division lead on Monday when the rivals kick off a three-game series at O.co Coliseum.

Texas finds itself in fourth place in the AL West, eight games back of the Oakland Athletics at 34-35. The Rangers had a three-game winning streak stopped on Sunday with a 5-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners.

Brad Snyder's first career homer accounted for Texas' lone run and starter Nick Martinez (1-4) was tagged with the loss after giving up two runs on nine hits over six innings for the Rangers, who had their three-game win streak come to an end.

"I've been waiting for that first big-league homer for a long time," said Snyder. "It's something I'll never forget."

Getting the call for the Rangers on Monday will be righty Colby Lewis, who is 4-4 with a 5.74 ERA. Lewis did not get a decision his last time out against Miami, but allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings of his team's 8-5 loss.

Lewis has faced the A's 20 times (18 starts) and is 7-4 against them with a 3.10 ERA. However, he is 5-1 with a 2.69 ERA in his last nine starts against them.

Oakland, meanwhile, will counter with impressive lefty Drew Pomeranz, who is coming off a terrific effort his last time out. Pomeranz did not get a decision on Tuesday in Anaheim, but was tremendous, as he held the Angels to just an unearned run in seven innings of his team's 2-1 loss.

Pomeranz, who will be making his first-ever start versus the Rangers, is 5-3 on the year with a 1.90 ERA.

It was business as usual for the A's this weekend, as they took two of three from the New York Yankees. In Sunday's rubber match, Derek Norris collected three hits, including a three-run homer, as Oakland poured it on early in a 10-5 triumph..

Coco Crisp also hit a three-run shot and scored three times for the Athletics, who recovered from dropping two of three on the road against the Angels during the week.

Yoenis Cespedes added two hits and drove in a pair, Kyle Blanks hit safely twice and crossed home twice for Oakland, which hit double digits for the 12th time in 2014 and matched a season high by going 15 games over .500 at 42-27.

Jesse Chavez (6-4) allowed a run on five hits while striking out four over six solid innings.

Oakland has split six games with the Rangers this season with each team sweeping the other in the opposing ballpark.

06/16 11:03:23 ET