Rangers lose sixth straight

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- The Oakland Athletics handed another loss to their beloved old third-base coach.

Eric Chavez, who gave one of his six Gold Gloves to Ron Washington, hit a three-run homer and rookie Travis Buck added a solo shot for the A's in a 5-3 win over slumping Texas, spoiling Wash's Bay Area return as Rangers manager Monday night.

Chad Gaudin (5-1) won his third straight start and fourth consecutive decision with another fine outing, helping the defending AL West champion A's pick up just their third victory in eight games. Gaudin didn't allow an earned run and has the AL's second-lowest ERA at 2.32 behind teammate Dan Haren (1.70).

Chavez started for the third straight game after missing three with tendinitis in his triceps. Bothered by tendinitis in his forearms for most of 2006, he said after the game that more would be known about his condition in a couple of days.

"Things feel like they're getting a little better," said Chavez, who also doubled after coming into the game 1-for-21 over his previous five contests. "We'll figure it out."

The Rangers lost their sixth straight in the series opener at Oakland, where Washington spent the last 11 years as an A's coach before the Rangers hired him away in November to replace Buck Showalter.

Washington gave Sammy Sosa most of the night off to rest before he pinch hit in the eighth -- all but delaying the slugger's pursuit of 600 home runs until Tuesday night. Sosa has 598 and is trying to become the fifth player in history to reach 600.

"He's not a spring chicken," Washington said of the 38-year-old star, who struck out swinging on a high 2-2 fastball.

Texas got on the board in the sixth when Chavez tried to make a tough play at first on Marlon Byrd's infield single and overthrew Dan Johnson for a two-base error, allowing Michael Young to score from first.

Young singled in a run in the eighth for his third hit, then stole second before Mark Teixeira walked. The Rangers loaded the bases with no outs on Frank Catalanotto's single off Kiko Calero and Colby Lewis relieved to face Byrd, who hit a sacrifice fly to center.

Lewis plunked Ian Kinsler and Sosa entered as a pinch hitter. After his K, pinch-hitter Gerald Laird popped out foul to first to end the threat.

"I wish we got a hit in the eighth inning," Washington said. "We'd still be playing and I'd bring in (Eric) Gagne. With the bases loaded, you should be jumping on the first good pitch."

Alan Embree pitched a perfect ninth for his third save in as many chances.

Gaudin faced a bases-loaded jam in the first inning after allowing a pair of walks and Young's single, but escaped unscathed after throwing 26 pitches.

After that inning, he tried to throw first-pitch strikes. Manager Bob Geren compared Gaudin's mentality on the mound to that of Tim Hudson, a former member of Oakland's Big Three with Barry Zito and Mark Mulder.

"That's great," Gaudin said of the compliment. "I'm glad he thinks that about me. I'm going to attack hitters."

He had a 1-2-3 second inning but again had to work in the third. He gave up four hits in 6 2-3 innings, struck out two and walked three in a 107-pitch night.

Everybody exhaled when Lewis got out of the eighth.

"We just have a makeshift bullpen and team," Chavez said. "We're just trying to hold it together until everybody gets back."

Buck hit his sixth homer of the year with a shot to left in the first to give Oakland the lead. Jack Cust doubled in Bobby Crosby in the second.

Robinson Tejeda (4-5) lost for the fourth time in five starts, lasting only three innings for the second straight outing. He allowed five runs and four hits, walked four and didn't strike out a batter.

"Today was not my day," he said. "I tried maybe too hard and it wasn't working. ... I need to relax. I'm probably just a little confused."

The right-hander had a no-decision against the A's on April 22. He lost for the first time in four career meetings against Oakland, but also had a no-decision in his only outing last year.

He issued back-to-back walks to leadoff man Shannon Stewart and Buck to start the third, prompting a visit from pitching coach Mark Connor. After two more walks to start the fourth, Tejeda was done. Willie Eyre came in and struck out a career-high six in four innings, also a career best.

"Tejeda has to be better than he was tonight and the last time, or pretty soon the scholarships will end," Washington said. "It's time to start growing up and throw the ball in the strike zone. He showed me no guts."

Notes

Five of Chavez's six home runs have come with two strikes. ... Every Oakland batter but No. 9 hitter Jason Kendall reached base. ... Texas took two of three from the A's last month at home, and the Rangers won the season series in 2006 for the first time in five seasons. ... The Rangers signed LHP Mark Redman, who was cut by Atlanta last week after going 0-4 with an 11.63 ERA. He will start for Triple-A Oklahoma on Tuesday.


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