Dallas Braden allowed one hit over eight shutout innings and retired 19 straight batters at one point, as Oakland beat Texas, 5-0, to start a crucial four-game series for the Athletics.
Cliff Lee (12-9) was touched for six hits and four runs over five frames for the Rangers, who still have a magic number of four to win the division. Texas lost for the fifth time in seven contests.
Steven Tolleson had two hits and drove in his first major league run. Jack Cust, Chris Carter and Matt Carson each had an RBI for the A’s, who are seven games behind the AL West-leading Rangers with just 10 games remaining. Oakland desperately needs to sweep this series to have any hope of catching the Rangers, who are nearing their first division title since 1999.