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TEX@OAK: Lewis hurls eight innings of two-run ball

OAKLAND -- The Rangers were held scoreless for eight innings on Monday night by Jarrod Parker, a 23-year-old rookie making his ninth Major League start.

On Wednesday night, it was Bartolo Colon doing the same thing in his 364th Major League start just two weeks after his 39th birthday. Two ends of the Major League pitching spectrum dominated the Rangers this week in Oakland and they have now lost six of their last eight games after a 2-0 loss to the Athletics at the o.Co Coliseum.

The Rangers, who were shut out for the first time this season, are hitting .259 with a .383 slugging percentage in their last eight games while scoring just 29 runs. Colon beat Colby Lewis, who allowed two runs in eight innings while pitching the Rangers' second complete game of the season.

"That was an amazing pitching performance and we wasted it because we couldn't put any runs on the board," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We still have some guys who are not playing up to their offensive capability right now. We're a little inconsistent on the offensive side. We've got to keep grinding it out and we'll get it together. There are nights we put it together and nights where we don't put it together. I guess you could say we're inconsistent."

The Rangers managed just five singles and a walk against Colon. He struck out five and retired the last 11 batters he faced before Brian Fuentes set down the side on order in the ninth. Colon is 5-6 with a 3.92 ERA on the season.

"You hate to not give a guy credit when he does that well, but you'd think as good as our offense is, we'd get something done," outfielder David Murphy said. "He didn't try to trick us. He threw all fastballs. He changed locations, so he mixed it up in that regard, but he beat us by throwing fastballs. Obviously we didn't have a great night offensively."

This was just Colon's third start and his first victory over the Rangers since 2007, but he is now 18-6 with a 3.61 ERA in 28 career starts against them. He is one of just seven pitchers with at least 18 wins against the Rangers. Bert Blyleven, Dennis Martinez and Jack Morris have 19 while Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina and Barry Zito have 18.

"I didn't do that well all the time against them," said Colon, who once won 12 straight starts against the Rangers. "This was one of the good games I pitched against them."

He may have a point. This was only the third of those 18 wins in which he did not allow a run.

"The guy has had a lot of success for a reason," designated hitter Michael Young said. "He knows how to pitch and he throws a ton of strikes. He knows what he's doing. We just have to stay with it and focus on what we need to do.

"Individual people can make adjustments, but as a team we've got to stay the course. We expect to score every night. You're going to run into some great pitching performances, but as an offense it's our responsibility to score. If we don't, we got to find a way to get better."

The Rangers had one chance to do some damage early against Colon and take the lead. Young reached on an infield single to lead off the second inning and, after Nelson Cruz flied to right, Murphy walked and Mike Napoli singled sharply to left to load the bases.

That brought up Mitch Moreland, and he said he had one goal in mind.

"Hit the ball hard," Moreland said.

Moreland hit it sharply but right at second baseman Jemile Weeks, who started an inning-ending double play. That was the only inning in which the Rangers had multiple baserunners.

"We've got to be more consistent, that's all there is to it," Cruz said. "We have to figure out a way to get in the zone again and do what we usually do."

There were only three extra-base hits in the game. Two of them were leadoff doubles that ended up scoring. The A's took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a leadoff double by Yoenis Cespedes and a one-out single by Brandon Inge. In the fourth inning, Josh Reddick led off with a double and scored on a single by Cespedes.

That was it against Lewis, who pitched his first complete game of the season but is now 1-5 with a 4.37 ERA in his last seven starts. The Rangers' offense is averaging 3.42 runs per nine innings in those seven starts.

"It is what it is," Lewis said. "You go out there and try to keep your team in the game for as long as you can. It just didn't work out for us tonight."

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