Rapid Reaction: Rangers 9, Athletics 4

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers put themselves in position to take a crucial series from the division-leading Oakland Athletics with a 9-4 victory on Wednesday night.

The Rangers have taken two out of three games from the A's with Thursday's game coming up. Oakland's lead in the American League West is back down to two games.

Bats show life again: After getting just three hits in Tuesday's 6-2 loss, the Rangers had their best offensive outburst in weeks. They had 14 hits. The nine runs are the most the Rangers have scored in a game since a 9-5 victory over Arizona on May 30.

The fateful fifth: The Rangers went to work on A's starter Tommy Milone after giving up the lead in the top of the fifth. Trailing 3-2, they made him throw 38 pitches in the bottom of the inning and every batter saw at least five pitches in his at-bat. The end result was the Rangers retook the lead on two productive outs. After David Murphy singled and Leonys Martin singled to move Murphy to third, Ian Kinsler had a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 3-3. Nelson Cruz followed with an RBI fielder's choice to give the Rangers a 4-3 lead as Martin was able to slide around the tag of A's catcher Derek Norris.

Even better sixth: The Rangers scored four runs on six hits. They scored more runs in the inning than they did in 13 games this month. The inning started with four straight one-out singles from Robinson Chirinos, Murphy, Martin and Kinsler. Cruz later had an infield single to score Martin and Adrian Beltre a double into the left field corner for an 8-3 lead.

Grimm gets win: Justin Grimm sailed along for four innings, then gave up the lead in top of the fifth. With one out he walked Josh Reddick, who entered the game batting .206. Then came a two-out walk to No. 9 hitter Eric Sogard. Grimm then fell behind 3-1 to Chris Young, who was batting .186 entering the game. Grimm tried to get a fastball past Young, but he didn't as the A's center fielder launched a 404-foot home run to center field to give Oakland a 3-2 lead. The Rangers did regain the lead in the bottom of the inning, making Grimm the first Rangers starter to win a game since he won on May 30 against Arizona.

Berkman homers: Designated hitter Lance Berkman has been struggling from the left side, but he came through as a right-handed hitter in the second inning. Berkman slammed a two-run homer after Adrian Beltre led off the inning with a single to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead. It was Berkman's third homer as a right-handed hitter, matching his total from the left side, where he was a much more prolific power hitter.

Murphy comes alive: Murphy, mired in a season-long slump, had his first three-hit game of the season. He did it with three consecutive singles, all to the opposite field. Murphy scored two runs.

Up next: The Rangers try to win the series from Oakland when right-hander Josh Lindblom (0-2, 5.94 ERA) takes on A's right-hander A.J. Griffin (5-6, 3.93 ERA) at 1:05 p.m. Both games are on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540 AM.