ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Oakland Athletics' boom-or-bust offense was clicking just fine on Friday night.
Eric Chavez drove in four runs, Mark Ellis homered among his four hits and Oakland held off the Texas Rangers 9-8. Mark Kotsay and Dan Johnson also connected to help the A's remain 1½ games behind Cleveland in the AL wild-card race.
Kotsay and Jason Kendall had three hits apiece for Oakland, which has 29 runs in its last three wins but five in the past four defeats.
"Numbers are numbers and they all equal out at the end of the year," Kotsay said.
Mark Teixeira hit his 37th homer and knocked in five runs for Texas to reach 120 RBI. His three-run shot on the first pitch from closer Huston Street in the ninth cut it to 9-8, but Street retired Alfonso Soriano on a routine fly for his 19th save as the A's held on at hitter-friendly Ameriquest Field.
"This is a typical game for us playing down here," Oakland manager Ken Macha said. "You're never safe with the runs here. We go into the last of the ninth with a five-run lead and the next thing you know, they're getting ready to beat us."
Teixeira said that while individual achievements such as the league home run and RBI titles would be nice, team goals are more important.
"It doesn't mean that much unless the team wins," Teixeira said. "Individual goals are great, but when I'm watching the playoffs, it won't mean that much."
Oakland starter Barry Zito (13-11) struck out eight and walked two in seven innings, allowing four runs and five hits.
Zito is 15-2 in his career against the Rangers. He improved to 10-3 overall with a 2.78 ERA over his last 16 starts.
"I've had good success here," Zito said. "I don't really have any demons (in Arlington) like other (pitchers) might."
Rangers rookie Juan Dominguez, who took a no-hitter into the seventh inning in his previous start against Kansas City, did not fare nearly as well against the A's.
Oakland got a run in the first on Chavez's sacrifice fly. The A's made it 4-0 in the second when Ellis led off with his ninth homer, Kendall singled and Kotsay followed with his 13th homer.
Texas narrowed the deficit to 4-2 on Teixeira's two-run single in the third.
But Johnson led off the third with his 13th homer, and the A's loaded the bases to chase Dominguez.
Chavez greeted reliever Erasmo Ramirez with a three-run double to push Oakland's lead to 8-2.
Dominguez (3-4) allowed eight runs and seven hits over 3 1/3 innings in his sixth -- and shortest -- start of the season.
"He was up with some pitches," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. "He had been throwing quality strikes down. He was coming off some good outings. With young pitchers, the more you get out there, the better your track record."
DeRosa's two-run drive in the fourth reduced the deficit to 8-4, but Kotsay's RBI single in the sixth made it 9-4.
Nevin homered off Ricardo Rincon in the ninth.
- RHP Rich Harden will have two throwing sessions this weekend as he tries to rejoin Oakland's rotation after missing three starts because of a strained muscle in his upper back.
- RHP Chris Young continues to rest his right arm after being lifted from his last start after one inning because of arm fatigue. The Rangers don't know if Young will pitch again this year.
- Texas leads the majors with 235 homers, 135 at home.