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NYY@OAK: Straily holds Yanks to two runs over 6 2/3

Two struggling division foes look to rediscover themselves Monday in Texas, when the A's and Rangers open a four-game series at Rangers Ballpark.

The first-place A's come to Arlington after seeing their nine-series unbeaten streak end but avoided their first sweep of the season with a 10-2 thumping of the Mariners on Sunday.

Oakland has split its last eight games but remains atop the American League West by two games because of Texas' subpar play.

The Rangers are amid their first six-game losing streak since April 2010 -- scoring two runs or fewer in each contest -- and have lost nine of their last 11. They have also dropped four straight series and are hitting just .219 in their last 16 games.

Rookie right-hander Nick Tepesch looks to get the Rangers back on track and solve his own issues in Monday's opener. Tepesch has dropped three straight decisions and is 0-3 with a 4.66 ERA is his last five starts, during which he has received only six runs of support.

"I think in Tepesch's case, run support has been his biggest enemies," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He gives up runs, but in his last four or five games, we haven't scored any for him."

This will be Tepesch's first career start against the A's.

"They're a good team," Tepesch said. "Any time you play a team within your division, it gives you a chance to gain a whole game and not worry about somebody else to beat them if we take care of business."

Fellow rookie Dan Straily enters under significantly different circumstances. The A's righty has won three straight decisions and is 3-0 with a 2.21 ERA and .179 average against in his last five starts.

A's: Bullish bullpen
The A's relief corps has allowed only one run in 19 2/3 innings spanning the past five games.

Additionally, closer Grant Balfour is a perfect 17-for-17 in save situations this year and has converted 35 straight overall.

• Outfielder Coco Crisp has a six-game hitting streak (.409).

Rangers: More on Tepesch
Washington is not asking much of Tepesch. All the manager wants is the rookie to pitch relatively deep into the game.

"Get through the lineup three times," Washington said. "If he can get through that lineup three times, I think he will have accomplished something. The results of getting through that lineup three times is not important, just get through that lineup three times. That means he's got us through the seventh inning."

• A Rangers starter has not earned a victory since May 31, a span of 15 games, the club's longest stretch since another 15-gamer from July 17 to Aug. 1, 1995.

Worth noting
• In two series between the Rangers and A's, the teams are tied with three wins each entering Monday's opener. After this series, the clubs will not play again until August.

• Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre has a five-game hitting streak (.389).

• The A's are 20-10 and hitting .265 against division foes, compared with a 22-19 record and .236 mark against the rest of baseball.

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