Sonny Gray and the Oakland Athletics kept sliding, falling out of the top AL wild-card spot with a 7-2 loss to Texas on Thursday that gave the Rangers a three-game sweep.
The latest loss to the team with the worst record in the majors dropped the A's a half-game behind idle Kansas City for the first wild-spot slot. Oakland owned the best record in the big leagues as recently as Aug. 15.
Texas roughed up Gray (13-9) for four runs in the first inning and won its season-best sixth in a row.
The latest news from around North Texas.
Gray saw his winless stretch reach five starts. The right-hander in his first full major league season has only one victory in 10 starts since his 5-0 July that earned him AL pitcher of the month honors.
Nick Martinez (4-11) allowed two runs and three hits in 5 2-3 innings, handing Oakland its sixth loss in eight games.
Leonys Martin hit an RBI double and the Rangers came out swinging for 15 total hits.
Texas got four straight two-out singles in the first, including RBI hits from Jake Smolinski, Tomas Telis and Ryan Rua. A passed ball added another for Texas. Smolinski had four hits.
This series was a far cry from the end of the 2012 season, when the A's stunned the Rangers by sweeping the final three games at the Coliseum to win the AL West.
Sam Fuld's RBI triple in the third accounted for Oakland's runs. The A's were outscored 19-6 in an embarrassing sweep and have struggled to support their starting pitchers during this long funk.
The Rangers won again only hours after former manager Ron Washington publicly apologized in Texas, to wife of 42 years, Gerry, for breaking her trust. It was his first public comment since resigning Sept. 5.
Athletics: C Stephen Vogt still isn't ready to start, though he will test his sprained left ankle by running the bases Friday. He was used as a pinch-hitter Wednesday night for his first action since Sept. 3. ... RF Josh Reddick rested a day after a hard tumble that left him with a sore neck and injured left ankle. An MRI exam showed no break.
Rangers: RHP Lisalverto Bonilla (1-0) pitches the opener of a weekend series at AL West champion Los Angeles. Even with the division decided, the Rangers (60-92) are motivated to win the rest of the way. "It's a bad thing to lose 100 games," interim manager Tim Bogar said. "Is 99 much better? Well, it sounds much better -- it looks, it sounds, it tastes."
Athletics: LHP Jon Lester (15-10) takes the mound at home in the interleague series opener with the Phillies, coming off a combined seven-hit shutout at Seattle last Sunday. He is 3-0 with a 1.67 ERA in four previous starts vs. Philadelphia.
Oakland is moving its Triple-A club from Sacramento to Nashville, reaching terms on a four-year player development contract.
"It's closer when you make a move on the road, not at home," Melvin said. "We'll tell our guys, `If you're going to get hurt, make sure you get hurt on the road."'