Derek Holland allowed only four hits and struck out 10 in eight scoreless innings, and Nelson Cruz and Mitch Moreland homered to lift the Rangers to a 4-0 victory over Oakland that also made Ron Washington the winningest manager in club history.
Washington has 582 victories in six-plus seasons, moving past Bobby Valentine. Washington, who has taken the Rangers to two World Series, is also the only Rangers manager to win a playoff series.
The Rangers won two of three games over the weekend and cut the Athletics’ lead in the American League West to 2.5 games.
Adrian Beltre contributed an RBI single after Yoenis Cespedes dropped an Ian Kinsler fly ball with two outs in the first inning.
Cruz, playing perhaps his final game with the Rangers depending on whether he is suspended Monday and signs elsewhere in the off-season, homered to start the second. Moreland delivered a two-run shot with two outs in the seventh.
Another missed defensive chance gave Moreland a chance against A.J. Griffin. First baseman Nate Frieman ran and slid to catch a Craig Gentry pop-up in the vast foul territory at O.co Coliseum, but couldn’t hang onto the ball. Gentry then reached on an infield single to keep the inning alive for Moreland.
While the A’s struggled defensively, the Rangers excelled. Ian Kinsler made a diving stab of a Josh Reddick grounder to save a run and end the second inning, and Elvis Andrus went deep in the hole to rob Jed Lowrie of an infield hit in the third.
Andrus came up big again in the eighth, when a he one-hopped a Lowrie liner and turned it into an inning-ending double play.