ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have won nine straight games over the Athletics, and opposing pitcher Brandon McCarthy has figured out why."They're better than us," McCarthy said. "There's no sidestepping it." That's been the case all season, and Colby Lewis was better than McCarthy on Friday night, pitching the Rangers to a 13-4 victory over the Athletics. Texas' winning streak over Oakland is now tied for the second longest, behind a 13-game streak against them in 1977-78. Lewis and McCarthy were actually hooked up in a pretty good duel for a while, and the score was still 2-2 going into the bottom of the fifth. Then Ian Kinsler reached with one out on an infield hit and scored on a double to deep center by Elvis Andrus. Andrus eventually scored on an error by third baseman Scott Sizemore, and the Rangers scored nine runs in their last two at-bats against the Athletics' bullpen. "We swung the bats well tonight," designated hitter Michael Young said. "We were happy with our offensive approach, and Colby threw a great game. We fed off Colby tonight. He kept getting us back in the dugout." Lewis, 0-2 with a 9.39 ERA in his previous three starts, allowed a two-run homer with two outs in the first inning to Josh Willingham, but after that he dominated the Athletics, holding them to three singles and retiring 20 of 23 hitters before turning it over to the bullpen. "Maybe I should allow a home run in the first inning every time," Lewis said. "Slap me across the face and wake me up. But I felt better as the game went on. It's all about location, getting ahead in pitcher's counts rather than hitter's counts. Keeping the ball down in the zone." He did that, and is now 12-10 with a 4.25 ERA in 29 starts and 5-0 with a 2.63 ERA in his last six starts against the Athletics going back to last season. He has two wins in his last nine starts, and both have come against the Athletics. "After that first inning, he settled down and hit his spots," manager Ron Washington said. "Most of the game, he kept the ball down, kept pounding the strike zone and kept getting outs." Despite the performance, Lewis is going to get time off before his next start. The Rangers are going to use Monday's off-day to push Lewis back to next Saturday, against the Mariners. The Rangers have been trying to find extra time off for some of their starters, and this is their plan for Lewis. Friday's outing didn't sway Washington. "We put that in there for a reason, and we're going to stay that way," Washington said. Lewis trailed, 2-0, right away, but the Rangers were able to get those runs right back. Kinsler led off the Rangers' first with a walk, went to second on Andrus' hit-and-run grounder and to third when McCarthy fumbled Young's chopper back to the mound for an error. With runners on the corners, Adrian Beltre drilled a double to left to score one run, and David Murphy's sacrifice fly sent home Young to tie the score. "That was huge," Lewis said. "That took a lot of pressure off. It's a zero-zero game again, all squared up. They're going to come out and put up a lot of runs in this park. You give up two runs early, and you've got to keep going out there and pitching." The RBI double by Andrus and Sizemore's error put the Rangers ahead for good in the fifth. "They hit really well, they get good at-bats, they pitch well, they do a lot of things well, and what they're doing is what we need to aspire to get up to," said McCarthy, who is now 0-2 with a 4.64 ERA in four starts against the Rangers this season. "It's not a fluke. They're just a really good team that seems to have good performances against us. We're looking up at them right now." McCarthy left after six innings with the A's trailing, 4-2, and the Rangers poured it on against the Oakland bullpen. Kinsler finished with three hits and four runs scored, Craig Gentry had two hits, and Mike Napoli hit his 25th home run of the season in the eighth. Young's three-run double in the eighth gave him four RBIs on the night and 95 on the season. "We found a way [to score]," Young said. "Elvis' double was big. McCarthy was throwing the ball well, and we were able to string some at-bats together after that." The Rangers also took advantage of three errors by the Athletics, errors that led to five unearned run, and put up their biggest offensive outburst since scoring 20 against the Twins on July 25. "When you make as many errors as we do, you put yourself in a tough situation, especially against teams that can swing the bat," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "You give them extra outs, usually you get it handed to you."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.