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Oakland at Texas

Venue: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington

The Oakland Athletics were able to make an improbable late rally to surpass Texas and win the AL West last year.

This season, it's the Rangers who need to make a run under what might prove to be even more difficult circumstances.

Meeting for the final time during the regular season, Jarrod Parker and the A's look to increase their division lead to 6 1/2 games over the Rangers by completing their first series sweep at Arlington in four years Sunday.

Bartolo Colon threw eight strong innings and Brandon Moss' two-out RBI double in the first held up for a 1-0 Oakland (87-61) victory Saturday. The A's, who overcame a five-game deficit to Texas over the final nine games of 2012, have won four straight and 15 of 19 to take a 5 1/2-game division lead.

The Rangers (81-66), still very much in the hunt for a wild-card berth, have lost five in a row and 11 of 14.

"I don't think it's much different because last year we wanted to win every game, and right now we feel like we want to win every game still,'' Oakland third baseman Josh Donaldson said. "If anything, it might be a little bit different for them. ... Now they're looking up at us and trying to catch us.''

Other than the A's last season, only two other teams have overcome deficits of five games or more with 15 or fewer left since 1969. In 2007, Philadelphia erased a 5 1/2-game deficit to the New York Mets with 15 remaining and St. Louis also came back from 5 1/2 down to surpass Houston with 11 left in 2001.

"From now on, every game is a must-win situation,'' Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "The division is what we all want. We don't want a wild card. ... We've got to keep fighting.''

Last swept at home by the A's from Sept. 14-16, 2009, Texas faces a more difficult challenge considering the teams' season series ends Sunday. Oakland won five of six over the Rangers in the final nine games last season.

The task would seem more difficult against Parker (11-6, 3.55 ERA), who is 9-0 with a 2.61 ERA in 19 starts since he allowed three runs in seven innings of a 3-1 loss at Texas on May 22. Since then, he's posted a 2.84 ERA while going 3-0 against the Rangers.

The right-hander gave up a pair of solo homers in six innings of a 4-3 loss at Minnesota on Tuesday.

"I'm not happy that we lost, no matter what,'' Parker said. "Got to move on.''

Texas slugger Adrian Beltre is 2 for 12 with a homer this season versus Parker. He had three hits in Friday's 9-8 loss, but went 0 for 4 on Saturday.

The Rangers hand the ball to Martin Perez (9-4, 3.60), whose six-start winning streak ended Tuesday when he allowed four runs and nine hits in five innings of a 5-4 loss to Pittsburgh.

"You just have to learn something with your losses," said Perez, the only Texas rookie to win six straight starts. "I learned you have to locate the ball. Fastball location, that's what I'll do for my next start. Nobody's perfect.

In the left-hander's outing before last, he allowed a run without a walk in seven innings of a 5-1 victory at Oakland on Sept. 3.

Donaldson, who scored Saturday's lone run, is 2 for 5 with a double against Perez and batting .447 (17 for 38) with three homers and 10 RBIs during a 10-game hitting streak.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Probable Starters

Jarrod Parker, RHP
2013 stats
182.1 Innings Pitched 100.0
11-6 Wins-Losses 9-4
3.55 Earned Run Average 3.60
60 Walks 28
126 Strikeouts 65
95 Pitches Per Start 93
Career vs. opponent
46.0 Innings Pitched 17.0
6-1 Wins-Losses 2-2
2.93 Earned Run Average 6.35

Martin Perez, LHP
weather image  Mostly sunny. Hot.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Oakland5th AL West6893.422194-6 W 3
Texas1st AL West8774.540-5-5 L 2
vs Martin Perez
vs Jarrod Parker

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Series Game Log
Apr 13TEXLAA 6-3Shoemaker Detwiler 
Apr 14TEXTEX 8-2Martinez Rucinski 
Apr 15TEXLAA 10-2Santiago Ranaudo 
Apr 24LAALAA 3-2Richards Kela 
Apr 25LAALAA 4-1Pestano Lewis 
Apr 26LAATEX 5-4Feliz Alvarez 
Jul 3TEXLAA 8-2Richards Gonzalez 
Jul 4TEXLAA 13-0Santiago Rodriguez 
Jul 5TEXLAA 12-6Wilson Lewis 
Jul 24LAATEX 4-2Lewis Tropeano 
Jul 25LAATEX 7-6Patton Smith 
Jul 26LAALAA 13-7Heaney Martinez 
Sep 4LAALAA 5-2Richards Perez 
Sep 5LAATEX 2-1Holland Smith 
Sep 6LAALAA 7-0Santiago Lewis 
Oct 1TEXTEX 5-3Holland Heaney 
Oct 2TEXLAA 2-1Morin Tolleson 
Oct 3TEXLAA 11-10Reyes Ohlendorf 
Oct 4TEX 3:05 PM EDT