ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Oakland Athletics got a slump-busting effort from Barry Zito.
Zito pitched 7 1/3 strong innings and continued his success against Texas to help Oakland snap a season-high seven-game losing streak with a 6-3 win over the Rangers on Saturday night.
Zito (4-3) allowed three runs and four hits in a 126-pitch outing. He struck out seven and walked five while improving to 10-1 for his career in Arlington, 16-3 overall against the Rangers.
"Barry demonstrated again why he's been the ace for years," said A's closer Huston Street, who got five outs for his eighth save in 10 chances. "To throw 126 pitches is unbelievable. That takes a load off the bullpen and keeps everybody fresh. He steps up in big situations and big games."
Zito continued a hot month, having allowed six earned runs in his last six starts for an ERA of 1.32 in May.
"Huge effort by Zito," A's manager Ken Macha said. "When you have a solid veteran pitcher, you usually know what you're going to get."
Zito walked two before exiting in the eighth, but Street came on to get Phil Nevin to hit into a double play.
Nevin's walk-off solo homer off Street gave the Rangers an 8-7 victory over the A's on Thursday night. Nevin had a three-run homer off Zito in the sixth.
"Huston overcame Phil Nevin after what happened a couple nights ago," Zito said. "He picked me up and he picked the team up."
The final two walks tarnished what was otherwise a stellar outing from Zito, who allowed more than one run in a game for the first time in five starts.
"It was a little frustrating," Zito said. "I wanted to finish strong. I tried to be too fine out there. I should have just let it go."
Zito had the Rangers off-balance most of the night, featuring an effective change-up to go with his fastball and curve.
"When he has all three pitches going like that, it's going to be tough to put five, six runs on the board," Rangers catcher Rod Barajas said.
Injuries to the pitching staff have contributed to Oakland's recent tailspin, and the A's hope Saturday night's victory points them in the right direction.
"It was a good time to end it," said A's DH Frank Thomas, who went 2-for-3 and walked twice. "Lose any more and you can bury yourself that way."
Nick Swisher went 2-for-4, including a two-run triple in the sixth that extended the A's lead to 6-0 and chased Rangers starter Kameron Loe (3-5).
Loe allowed six runs and 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out two and walked two.
The A's, outscored 40-21 during the seven-game skid, took a 2-0 lead in the first on Thomas' RBI single and Bobby Crosby's sacrifice fly.
In the third, the A's capitalized on a bases-loaded fielding error by Rangers third baseman Hank Blalock for a 4-0 advantage. Jay Payton's grounder kicked off Blalock's glove and into foul territory, with Eric Chavez and Thomas scoring on the play.
Zito took a three-hit shutout and six-run lead into the sixth, but he hit Mark Teixeira with a pitch, walked Blalock, and gave up Nevin's ninth homer of the season to make it 6-3.
Before the game, Texas' Michael Young received his silver bat for winning the 2005 AL batting title. ...Swisher is 10-for-17 in his last five games. ...Two rainouts from the Rangers' series at Boston May 12-14 have been rescheduled. One will be part of a day-night doubleheader (12:25 p.m. and 7:05 p.m.) on June 10. The second makeup will be July 20 at 1:05 p.m. ...OF Adrian Brown, designated for assignment by Texas on May 25, cleared waivers and has accepted an assignment with the Rangers' Triple-A Oklahoma minor league affiliate. ...Crosby's third-inning single ended an 0-for-19 slide.
|Players of the Game|
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|Jason Kendall, C||5||1||1||0||0||1||2||.276|
|Nick Swisher, LF||4||0||2||2||0||0||0||.310|
|Mark Kotsay, CF||5||1||1||0||0||0||3||.279|
|Eric Chavez, 3B||3||1||1||0||2||1||1||.280|
|Frank Thomas, DH||3||1||2||1||2||0||0||.219|
|Bobby Crosby, SS||4||0||2||1||0||0||3||.224|
|Jay Payton, RF||5||1||1||0||0||1||4||.252|
|Dan Johnson, 1B||4||1||2||0||0||0||4||.192|
|Mark Ellis, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.234|
|2B - Eric Chavez (8, Loe)|
|3B - Nick Swisher (1, Loe)|
|SF - Bobby Crosby (2)|
|RBI - Nick Swisher 2 (39), Frank Thomas (25), Bobby Crosby (20)|
|2-OUT RBI - Nick Swisher 2 (20)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|DP - Crosby-Ellis-Johnson, Crosby-Ellis-Johnson|
|Barry Zito (W,4-3)||7.1||4||3||3||5||7||1||3.16|
|Huston Street (S,8)||1.2||1||0||0||0||0||0||4.76|
|HBP - Teixeira (by Barry Zito)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Barry Zito 126-68, Huston Street 23-14|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Barry Zito 8-6, Huston Street 3-1|
|Batters Faced - Barry Zito 31, Huston Street 5|
|Gary Matthews Jr., CF||3||0||1||0||1||2||0||.310|
|Michael Young, SS||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.316|
|Mark Teixeira, 1B||2||1||1||0||1||1||0||.289|
|Hank Blalock, 3B||2||1||0||0||2||1||1||.321|
|Phil Nevin, DH||4||1||1||3||0||1||2||.220|
|Kevin Mench, LF||3||0||1||0||1||0||0||.301|
|Mark DeRosa, RF||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.322|
|Rod Barajas, C||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.246|
|Gerald Laird, PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.327|
|Ian Kinsler, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.419|
|2B - Mark Teixeira (15, Zito), Kevin Mench (8, Zito)|
|HR - Phil Nevin (9, Zito)|
|RBI - Phil Nevin 3 (31)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Kinsler-Young-Teixeira, Kinsler-Young-Teixeira|
|E - Hank Blalock (7, Misplayed grounder)|
|Kameron Loe (L,3-5)||5.2||11||6||4||2||2||0||4.48|
|HBP - Swisher (by Scott Feldman)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Kameron Loe 89-60, C.J. Wilson 3-3, Scott Feldman 29-18, Ron Mahay 7-4, Rick Bauer 13-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kameron Loe 12-2, Scott Feldman 4-1|
|Batters Faced - Kameron Loe 29, C.J. Wilson 2, Scott Feldman 7, Ron Mahay 2, Rick Bauer 3|
|Attendance - 41226|
|Game Time - 2:44|
|Temperature - 89|
|Umpires - Home - Kerwin Danley, First Base - Gary Cederstrom, Second Base - Jim Reynolds, Third Base - Tim Welke|