ARLINGTON, Texas -- Hank Blalock homered and had three RBIs as the Texas Rangers stretched their winning streak to four games with a 7-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Saturday night.
Ian Kinsler added his 19th homer and had two hits, making him 17-for-34 over his last seven games.
Marlon Byrd contributed three hits as the Rangers won for the 11th time in their last 13 games to pull within a game of the third-place A's in the AL West. The Rangers, who have been in last place in the division since April 25, have finished third the last three seasons.
Nick Swisher and Marco Scutaro had two hits each for the A's, who have lost 10 of their last 14.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
A.J. Murray (1-1) allowed two runs and three hits in three innings of relief for his first major league victory.
Rookie Luis Mendoza made his major league debut for Texas, but lasted only two innings before leaving with a bruised left knee after being struck with a line drive off the bat of Swisher.
Texas took a 2-0 lead in the first off Chad Gaudin (10-11) on Kinsler's solo homer and Blalock's RBI single.
In the fourth, Blalock led off with his seventh homer as Gaudin continued to struggle. Later in the inning RBI singles by Frank Catalanotto, Michael Young and Byrd pushed the lead to 6-0 and ended Gaudin's outing.
Gaudin, who has lost eight of his last 10 decisions, allowed six runs and 10 hits in 3º innings.